Signalling fault causes morning rush hour disruption on North-South Line

Signalling fault causes morning rush hour disruption on North-South Line

MRT delay Kranji Dec 16
Commuters alerted CNA at about 8am to the disruption, which brought train service between Bukit Gombak and Kranji MRT stations to a standstill. (Photo: Jeremy Mak)

SINGAPORE: Part of the North-South Line was disrupted during the morning rush hour on Monday (Dec 16) due to a signalling fault.

Commuters alerted CNA at about 8am to the disruption, which brought train service between Bukit Gombak and Kranji MRT stations to a standstill.

SMRT, which operates the North-South Line, posted on Twitter at about 8.15am about the disruption.

It said free buses were plying between Jurong East and Kranji stations to ferry commuters affected by the delay.

Several commuters sent in photos of crowds at the affected stations. Some said they waited more than half an hour for a train while others said they were stuck in trains that were not moving.

Commuters waiting at Kranji MRT station during a train service disruption
Commuters waiting at Kranji MRT station during a train service disruption on Dec 16, 2019. (Photo: William Moy)

Mr William Moy tweeted a photo of crowds at Kranji station where he was trying to board a train heading to Jurong East. He said he waited for about 30 minutes but was unable to board the train.

Mr Jeremy Mak told CNA that he had boarded a train at Woodlands station at 8am before all passengers were told to get out of the train. 

The 25-year-old customer service executive added that the train doors closed a few times while passengers were alighting from the train.

“I was stuck on the platform at Woodlands, five trains passed but all (unloaded) passengers, no boarding was allowed," he said.

"Finally the sixth train came but they did not state that the train was only until Kranji … As I reached Kranji, no announcement was made. Every passenger looked confused and had no idea to leave the train or continue waiting."

Crowds seen outside Yew Tee MRT station during a disruption on the North-South Line
Crowds seen outside Yew Tee MRT station during a disruption on the North-South Line on Dec 16, 2019. (Photo: MJ Marguax Lao Cutamora)

He did not see any SMRT staff there to help manage the crowd and there were no signs to direct the passengers, he added.

Mr Mak said he attempted to board a bus but returned to the train station as it was "too crowded".

"Every passenger was out in the streets chasing after buses ... literally everybody walked around aimlessly," he added. 

A train stationary on the tracks near Choa Chu Kang MRT station
A train stationary on the tracks near Choa Chu Kang MRT station. (Photo: Steven Siau)

Kranji MRT delay Dec 16, 2019
Affected commuters wait at Kranji MRT station for buses. (Photo: Jeremy Mak)

Ms MJ Marguax Lao Cutamora said she waited at Yew Tee MRT station for 15 minutes before SMRT staff announced that there was no train service.

Mr Sathya Narayanan, who was on his way to work, said he waited for 25 minutes at Choa Chu Kang station before leaving.

“The problem is they did not even announce anything for five to 10 minutes,” the 31-year-old accountant said of the situation at the MRT station. “If we ask the shuttle bus, the staff said as they didn't get any information, they charged us for the fare.”

He managed to get a taxi but ended up being 40 minutes late for work, he told CNA.

Delay at Kranji MRT Dec 16, 2019
Commuters waiting for buses at Kranji MRT station. (Photo: Jeremy Mak)

SMRT staff at Choa Chu Kang MRT station assisting commuters affected by the disruption
SMRT staff at Choa Chu Kang MRT station assisting commuters affected by the disruption. (Photo: Binyi Zhu)

At about 8.50am, SMRT said the signalling fault had been rectified and train service was returning to normal. Free bus services ended at about 20 minutes after that.

“We are sorry to have affected your morning commute,” it said.

This story came from a reader tip-off. If you would like to send in photos or videos of something newsworthy, WhatsApp our Mediacorp news hotline at +65 8218 8281 or message us on Facebook.

Source: CNA/cy(hm)/zl

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