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[News Article] Circle Line breakdown caused by power supply failure: SMRT
Two-plus-hour disruption was fourth MRT delay in six days.

SINGAPORE - Even as a Committee of Inquiry attempts to discern the causes of the major disruptions on the oldest segments of the MRT network last December, the newest section of the Circle Line - some two decades newer than the other lines - suffered serious disruptions for more than two hours this morning, with bridging buses deployed along the affected stretch.

The service disruption on the Circle Line, which began at 7.40am on Wednesday, was a result of a failure in the power supply to the Communications Network at Botanic Gardens Station, said SMRT.

Speaking to MediaCorp Radio's 938Live, SMRT's senior vice president of communications and services Goh Chee Kong said this in turn interrupted the transmission of the signalling system that controls the safe operations of the trains.

As a result, the stretch between one-north and Marymount stations in both directions was affected.

The fault has been isolated and rectified, and full service resumed at 10.10am.

SMRT said its engineers, together with the Land Transport Authority, will continue to investigate the cause of the problem to prevent a recurrence.

SMRT first reported on its Twitter feed at 8.07am that there would be no train service between Holland Village and Caldecott stations, and followed that up with an announcement eight minutes later that free bus bridging services would be deployed, adding that commuters should "make alternative travel plans where possible".

At 9.03am, SMRT sent a press statement saying that there were no trains running in both directions between one-North and Bishan stations on the Circle Line.

In a later press statement, sent at 9.55am, SMRT said that "we are working to restore the system as soon as possible". By 10.10am, train services in both directions had been restored, in a message broadcast to the media, on Twitter, and at MRT stations. The bridging buses would still run concurrently for the time being, SMRT added.

By that time, the public had made their anger known on social networks. "To be at the disposal of public transportation like this, it's terrible! SMRT, you'd better shape up," said @chaiiai.

The anger was also directed at what commuters saw as a lack of communication on the train operator's part. "Is there like a Twitter account I can follow for Circle Line? Dun think @SMRT_Singapore will update," said another user on Twitter prior to SMRT's broadcast.

SMRT said that it had put out information on the service disruption on several platforms, including Traffic Watch, its Twitter feed, corporate website, SMRT Connect and digital screens at stations, as well as SBS Transit's website and Iris platform.

SMRT said its Rail Incident Management Plan was activated at 8.15am. Seventy buses were deployed when the bus bridging service was activated at 8.35am. In addition, free travel on passing buses from both SBS Transit and SMRT was activated. Eighty extra staff were deployed on the ground to help direct affected commuters.

Today reporter Nicholas Yeo, who was at Marymount MRT Station at 8.30am, said there was confusion as commuters were initially not properly directed to where the bridging buses were waiting. Many commuters gave up and hailed taxis instead.

Mixed with the frustration of being late for school or work was surprise at this new stretch - this stage of the Circle Line only opened last October - suffering track faults which had previously been touted as wear and tear issues.

"What happened to the circle line today?!? Isn't it supposed to be the new line?!?!" said @jeniceo on Twitter.

Other parts of the MRT network were affected by the disruptions. Bishan MRT station - the interchange for the North South and Circle Lines - was said to be particularly crowded, while trains on the Circle Line from one-North to Harbourfront were moving slowly, too.

SMRT said that refunds would be issued to those affected. "Passengers who could not continue with their journey because of the disruption, or had to exit an SMRT train station without taking a trip but had their fares deducted, can get a refund at the Passenger Service Centre in any of SMRT's 83 stations in the next 14 days," it said in its press statement.

It remains to be seen what impact this latest disruption on the newest MRT line - the fourth such delay in six days, following similar glitches on eastbound and southbound trains - will have on commuters' confidence in the train network.

"I (now) choose to take the bus instead. At least got seats and I won't be late," said @MrKooNz on Twitter.

"I minimise my journey on train. The bus or the taxi is better. When you take SMRT, you sure be late," said Sunita Devidas on Today's Facebook page.

Others were more resigned. "It's not like we have a choice," said @xiaomantou on Twitter.

C651 Lover | A SGTrains Member

Station Rep: NS2 Bukit Batok

[-] The following 1 user Likes C651 Lover's post:
  • ExPreSS518LoVuR™
Circle line breakdown on Wednesday due to power supply failure.

A power supply failure which began at 7.40am left thousands of commuters stranded on the new Circle Line on Wednesday morning.

The failure caused a massive tailback on the Circle Line between one-north and Marymount stations in both directions, with some travellers stuck between train stations for up to an hour. Others were stranded at interchanges with no connecting trains.

Service was disrupted as a result of a power breakdown to the communications network at Botanic Gardens Station, said an SMRT spokesman. This, she said, led to an interruption in the transmission of the signalling system that ensures that the trains operate safely.

The problem has been fixed and full-service resumed at 10.10am. SMRT said that it will investigate the cause of the problem.
C651 Lover | A SGTrains Member

Station Rep: NS2 Bukit Batok


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