Opened less than 1 year, DTL already has problems

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picture credit: Twitter user @hyqqel

By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond

The new Downtown Line 2 was opened last year on 27 Dec 2015. The 12 stations on Downtown Line 2, spanning Bukit Panjang to Rochor including Sixth Avenue, drew lots of excitement on its opening day.

MP for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Liang Eng Hwa described the new line as a “game changer” for Bukit Panjang’s transport landscape, ST reported. “The line may change lifestyles. Residents now have new weekend destinations to explore,” MP Liang said.

Some commuters were reported to have woken up early to try the new line on the opening day, which fell on a Sunday. A commuter said, “We are getting out at every stop just to look around and familiarise ourselves with the stations and their surroundings.”

Yet, in less than a year of opening, things were seen falling apart in Downtown Line 2.

Platform door collapsed

Yesterday, it was reported that the Downtown Line 2 was disrupted in the morning (4 Oct) after a platform door had collapsed at the Sixth Avenue station (http://theindependent.sg/downtown-line-failed-to-run-as-usual-on-day-of-psle-and-gce-n-level-exams).

The breakdown even affected students taking PSLE as well as GCE N-Level examinations.

Facebook user Selvi Ramasamy commented, “Why the students must suffer? As it is they will be in exam stress (and) on top of that they have to go through this? What is happening? Hope the students will make it in time to the respective centres.”

Another Facebook user, Kunal V J, scolded SBS Transit, which operates the Downtown Line, “This is so much of an unnecessary stress to the kids when all their thoughts r on the exam paper… and then you are talking about a car-lite island? The old East-West Line from what I know, never had such door damage…but a brand new line with new technology comes with such issues…. seriously dont know how you all do your maintenance work…”

First major breakdown after only 4 months

Yesterday’s train disruption was not the first on Downtown Line 2.

On 3 May this year, Downtown Line 2 was reported to have its first major breakdown after operating only for about 4 months.

Apparently, a train inexplicably applied its emergency brakes. Downtown Line trains operate without any drivers.

The affected train, which held up services between Bukit Panjang and Sixth Ave stations, was eventually removed.

Indeed, compared to the old lines like East-West Line, trains operate for years before any major disruptions were reported.