The Straits Times reported that some train commuters in SMRT’s Circle Line, had to endure ice showers at least twice in the last month. It reported that ice shards blasted from a air conditioner vents of some trains. The publication drew attention to the China-made trains plying the Circle Line and said that the defects happened in the Alstom brand trains which were assembled in China.
One incident happened during a journey from Bartley to Kent Ridge stations on a Saturday morning, and the other from the Bras Basah to Serangoon stations on a Monday afternoon. In one incident the commuters had to be evacuated because “ice shards – some the size of a little finger – blasted from a vent”, the newspaper reported.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that it was aware of defect and was taking steps to rectify it. An LTA spokesperson explained that the defects are not specific to trains and “can happen to home air-conditioning systems and refrigerators”.
Adding: “The forming of the ice particles was caused by the excessive cooling of the air-conditioning system. Rectification works are being carried out, and we are also conducting fleetwide checks as a precautionary measure.”
LTA further said that commuters will not be inconvenienced because rectification works and checks will be done concurrently when the trains are undergoing their scheduled preventive maintenance.
A professor interviewed by the newspaper however contradicted LTA and said that such problems were not common. Professor Choo Fook Hoong of the Energy Research Institute at Nanyang Technological University also said that the defect is relatively easy to fix – by replacing the faulty sensor.