A track fault between Ang Mo Kio and Bishan caused trains travelling to the city to travel much slower, for most of the morning today.
SMRT finally chose to utilise their social media channels to notify commuters of the service delays, after remaining silent during service disruptions in the recent past – including the East-West Line software fault yesterday.
Taking to social media at 5am, the public transport company advised commuters travelling on southbound trains between Yishun and Toa Payoh to add 20 minutes to their travel time, due to a track fault.
It said in the same post that the track fault was not linked to the new signalling project, which has caused several service disruptions previously:
— SMRT Corporation (@SMRT_Singapore) October 24, 2017
SMRT revised the additional travel time to 10 minutes, in a subsequent tweet at 8.05am, adding that bridging buses had been deployed, before posting a lengthier clarification of the fault on Facebook around 8.20am:
— SMRT Corporation (@SMRT_Singapore) October 25, 2017
North-South Line update 8.22am 25 Oct 2017North-South Line trains towards the city have been travelling at a reduced…
According to The Straits Times, the track fault was traced to a defect in rail infrastructure near Bishan swimming complex. The publication reported that “electrical arcing had caused the rubber insulator between the running rail to melt, resulting in a gap in the track.”
This is reportedly similar to the fault that caused the trackside fire in the tunnel between Marina Bay and Raffles Place MRT stations, on the same North-South Line, on 7 Oct.
Incidentally, a section of the tunnel from Bishan to Braddell MRT stations was flooded, in the first ever public train flooding incident in Singapore, on the same day.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and SMRT’s top brass came out to bow and apologise after the incidents on 7 Oct. Khaw squarely blamed the flooding incident on poor maintenance and said that it could have been avoided:
Was poor maintenance once again the cause of the latest service delays that have inconvenienced countless commuters?