SINGAPORE: A loose door in the tunnel near Tiong Bahru MRT station caused power trips and delays for MRT commuters for more than seven hours on Tuesday (Jul 25), and led to a brief shutdown of eight stations.
The delays started at around 6am on the North-South and East-West Lines, and at 11.30am, train service was shut down between Queenstown and Bugis stations for 30 minutes for "urgent repair works".
The cause of the power trip was traced to a loosened service maintenance door next to the tracks in the tunnel near Tiong Bahru MRT station, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.
Train services had to be halted temporarily so that engineers could access the tracks and remove the door safely, it said.
LTA has asked SMRT to do a systemwide check on all service maintenance doors. It is also investigating the cause of the loosened door to prevent it from recurring, it said.
"This incident is not related to the ongoing tests of the new signalling system on the North-South Line," LTA added.
SMRT first posted on its Twitter account about the delays at 7.26am, saying that an "intermittent power fault" was causing trains on both lines to run at longer intervals. It also warned that stations would be more crowded than usual.
However, commuters started complaining about delays at least an hour before SMRT’s tweet. Commuter Wayne Chia, who was at Buona Vista station, contacted Channel NewsAsia at around 6.40am saying that there were no trains arriving at the station for 10 minutes.
Crowds and long queues were also seen at other East-West Line MRT stations such as Lakeside and Bedok.
Twitter user @settpaing posted photos of long queues at Lakeside station. No announcements had been made and the station was “extremely overcrowded”, he said.
At 8.06am, SMRT said in another tweet that its engineers were carrying out checks.
SEPARATE TRACK CIRCUIT FAULT
A separate track circuit fault at Commonwealth station also caused additional delays for commuters on the East-West Line.
At 8.51am, SMRT said commuters travelling from Joo Koon to Commonwealth should expect an additional 15 minutes of travel time. It later updated this to 20 minutes, then again to 25 minutes, and extended the affected stations to Tiong Bahru.
Normal train service on the North-South Line resumed at about 10.20am, while the track circuit fault at Commonwealth was rectified at about 11am.
At 2pm, more than seven hours after delays first began, SMRT said train service on the East-West Line was back to normal.