SINGAPORE: A new train track fault during the morning peak period today (4 July) has caused large crowds to gather at Jurong East MRT station as trains move slower.

SMRT reported at 7.25am that a track fault occurred at Jurong East MRT station on the East-West Line, at 5am. The public transport operator urged East-West line passengers to add up to half an hour of additional train travel time, while those travelling to the city were advised to take other train lines.

Revealing that its engineers are on site to rectify the fault, SMRT said: “Train services remain available on both bounds, while having to slow down near the faulty point machine, for safety reasons.”

SMRT added that it has deployed free bridging bus services, alongside regular bus routes, between Clementi and Boon Lay stations at designated bus stops. The group also apologised, saying, “We are sorry for affecting your morning commute.”

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In an update, less than 15 minutes later, SMRT again advised those travelling towards the city area to “please avoid east bound service.”

Meanwhile, photos of the scene at Jurong East MRT station showing large crowds and long queues have already begun circulating on messaging platforms. Photos show digital displays at the station informing commuters about the need to add 30 minutes to their travel and apologizing for the inconvenience.

Just last month, on 3 June, the SMRT-run North-South line experienced a two-hour train service interruption. Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat said in a written parliamentary reply yesterday (3 July) that a loss of traction power led to the service disruption, after a surge arrester that was designed to protect the power control box against lightning strikes “did not operate as intended.”

Mr Chee said, “It is possible that past lightning strikes had accelerated the deterioration of this particular surge arrester, as this section of track between Kranji and Marsiling is lightning prone. Arising from this incident, we are working with the manufacturer and the rail operators to review the maintenance frequency of surge arresters.”

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He added that his ministry is working with the rail operators to strengthen their incident management plans, including improving the clarity of public announcements during service disruptions, and improving crowd control measures at affected MRT stations and boarding points for bridging buses.

TISG/