Train fault causes rush-hour disruption on North-East Line

Train fault causes rush-hour disruption on North-East Line

NEL disruption Apr 11
Crowds at Punggol MRT station after a train fault caused a disruption along the North-East Line. (Photo: Kevin Soh)

SINGAPORE: A train fault at Little India station caused a disruption on the North-East Line during the morning rush hour on Wednesday (Apr 11).

Responding to an email from Channel NewsAsia, rail operator SBS Transit said: "At about 7.30am, one of our trains at Little India station developed a fault which affected train services on the North-East Line for about an hour."

"Longer travel times of about 30 minutes were experienced during this period as a 12-car push-out to HarbourFront station was conducted to get the faulty train off the track.

SBS Transit said in a tweet at 7.55amthat there was no train service in both directions between Outram Park and Potong Pasir stations. Free bus rides were available between the two stations, it added.

It had earlier tweeted, at 7.30am, that service on the line was delayed due to a track fault at Little India station.

The delays stretched as far as Punggol station, according to commuters who posted updates and pictures on social media. Some also said the delays were much longer than announced by SBS Transit. 

Mr Kevin Soh, who was travelling from Punggol to Serangoon, said he had to take a half day of annual leave after it took him an hour to get to work. Buses were packed and commuters were unable to board, he added.

One commuter also reported that Grab fares surged in Sengkang following the disruption.

NEL breakdown on Apr 11 2018 (1)
Commuters waiting at Sengkang MRT station at around 7.30am after train service was disrupted. (Photo: Twitter/@Kongleng)

Train service resumed at around 8.35am, although stations may still be crowded, SBS Transit said. It added that commuters should expect an additional 15 minutes' travelling time between Punggol and HarbourFront stations.

"Regular service" resumed and the free bus bridging service ceased at 9.18am, according to another tweet. 

In the statement, SBS Transit's senior vice-president of corporate communications Tammy Tan said: "We apologise to affected commuters for the inconvenience caused. Meanwhile, we are investigating the cause of the train fault."

Source: CNA/rw/hs