Was poor maintenance again the cause of this morning’s North-South Line track fault?

A train crawls between Ang Mo Kio and Bishan stations today.

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 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:

North-South Line update 8.22am 25 Oct 2017North-South Line trains towards the city have been travelling at a reduced…

Posted by SMRT on Tuesday, 24 October 2017

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:

Netizens savagely rip apart Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan and SMRT CEO’s apologies

Was poor maintenance once again the cause of the latest service delays that have inconvenienced countless commuters?


  1. No more new excuses from KBW & SMRT CEO?. All these complacent WHITE TERMITES function with half the brain capacity but sucking MILLIONS!.

    • KBW, no point continue to drain & slaughter your brain cells. Retire at an Old Folks Home in JB & let all the Military Elites run the nation like N Korea.

  2. Has the Contracting model failed? Soft launch, Oct 15, was in the stationary cabin for 30, 35 minutes. The air-con hummed loudly and the PA system was hardly audible. Minus day 1, cabin failed. Track fault, signalliing fault, … whose responsibility? Infrastructure by government, running by operator. Maintenance, flooding, … oh, the pumps. Quality, or inspection/replacement, or both. In public, no finger pointing, in private, hair spliting? The question of fines is the lesser of the problem. The answer : Go public, one entity, under one roof. (The other issue, returns on rental, have separate entity, to give singular focus on the operation of the system.)

  3. I am just wondering during the four hours of maintenance downtime at night, only ONE maintenance team goes out to check the entire stretch of rail lines, say NSL, & do the repair works as necessary???
    In view of the frequency of breakdowns & the length of the rail line, can’t SMRT or SBS Transit put out more maintenance teams, say five to ten at least, to check on assigned stretches of the rail line & repair of the assigned rail line???
    So SMRT & SBS transit just can’t work out more Budget for maintenance teams but can continue to show annual profit but at expense of commuters???!!!
    Damn, it’s time someone start a petition get everyone together boycott all train services for at least a week, then when it starts to hurt their bottom line, let’s see what other excuses these damn clowns can come up with.

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