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Stalled train causes hour-long disruption on Circle Line

SMRT says initial findings point to a signal fault aboard the train.

SINGAPORE: A Circle Line train stalled between Tai Seng and Bartley stations at 8.05am on Friday (Aug 8), causing major crowds at Bishan and Serangoon stations and affecting the service intervals between trains toward Harbourfront station for about an hour.

In a statement on its official Facebook page, SMRT said: "The stalled train was driven by a Station Staff to Bartley, where passengers were detrained. Our commuters resumed their journey on the next trains."

While full services along the Circle Line resumed at around 8.14am, the stalled train meant further delays to trains behind the vehicle. Normal headway between trains was restored at around 9.19am, the operator said.

Initial investigations point to a "signal fault aboard the train", SMRT said, adding that its engineers are attending to the situation. "We apologise for the inconvenience experienced by our commuters this morning."

Experts say there was major congestion at both Bishan and Serangoon MRT stations because the Circle Line has half the capacity of the North East Line or North South Line. 

"When the Circle Line breaks down or has some abnormal situations, and when the North East Line or the North South Line are still operating as per normal, they will still continue bringing in passengers to these two interchanges," explained Prof Lee Der Horng from the National University of Singapore's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He added that as a result, the platform congestion at Bishan and Serangoon would become "abnormally high".

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