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Transport Minister Lui disappointed with train disruptions

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew expressed his concern and disappointment with the recent spate of disruptions on the SMRT rail network during a meeting with the operator's CEO and senior management on Thursday.

SINGAPORE: Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew expressed his concern and disappointment with the recent spate of disruptions on the SMRT rail network during a meeting with the operator's CEO and senior management on Thursday.

He was also briefed on the status of the ongoing investigations and SMRT's preliminary findings on these incidents.

Mr Lui said: "I share the frustrations of train commuters affected by these incidents, and I empathise with them on the anxiety and uncertainty that they may experience.

"I am also very concerned about SMRT's service recovery efforts, particularly in reaching out to affected commuters promptly and keeping them updated during these incidents."

Minister Lui has urged SMRT's senior management to quickly identify the root causes of the occurrences and to determine whether these incidents arose from engineering or procedural shortcomings.

SMRT's CEO Desmond Kuek has also assured him that the rail operator will in the meantime do its best to step up checks to minimise service disruptions and improve service recovery.

Minister Lui has also asked SMRT to provide an update next week on its investigations and the remedial actions to be taken. 

Separately, SMRT said Wednesday night's hour-long MRT service disruption between Tanah Merah and Pasir Ris was caused when a train captain bypassed a signal point without authorisation.

This caused safety measures to kick in, which then disrupted train services in the eastern end of the East-West Line.

SMRT said its engineers were deployed immediately to rectify the problem when service was disrupted.

About 180 passengers were re-routed to Simei station and another 200 to Expo station, before service resumed at 11.19pm.

SMRT said investigations are underway and stressed that it takes a serious view of any breach of operational protocols.

Disciplinary action will also be taken if needed. 

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