Singapore

Train fault mars open house of Downtown Line 3

Commuters on DTL3, which opens on Saturday, had to wait ½ hour for train


A train fault near Hillview station affected services on the Downtown Line (DTL) and also dampened the mood of some attending an open house of a new stretch of Singapore's MRT network yesterday.

For at least 40 minutes from about 12.40pm, train service was suspended between Bukit Panjang and Beauty World stations on the DTL2 while services along DTL3 that will open on Saturday were also affected.

While attending the DTL3 open house, which offered free rides and previews of the 16 new stations from Fort Canning to Expo, engineer Chu Ern Teng, 43, and his family waited 20 minutes at Bedok Reservoir station as the train heading to Fort Canning did not move.

"It is disappointing that this had to happen, and it has spoilt our day a little and caused a bit of unhappiness.

"I do hope it will run smoothly once it opens," he said.

ANNOUNCEMENT

An announcement of the fault was made in trains, with commuters told to disembark at Ubi station.

SBS Transit, which operates the Downtown Line, then announced the fault online at 1.04pm and free bus rides were made available at bus stops near affected stations.

It did not comment if the train fault affected the DTL1 stretch - running between Bugis, Promenade, Bayfront, Downtown, Telok Ayer and Chinatown - which connects the DTL2 and DTL3.

Normal service resumed at about 1.20pm after the defective train was taken off the line.

SBS Transit's senior vice-president of corporate communications Tammy Tan apologised for the inconvenience caused, and said it was investigating the cause of the fault.

A commuter, who wanted to be known only as Agnes, had to wait at Geylang Bahru station for 30 minutes because the trains were not moving.

"(The delay) is a small thing, we can still enjoy the activities and free rides," said the administrator, 55.

The opening of the 21km DTL3 will mark the completion of the Downtown Line, which stretches 42km. It will become the longest underground and driverless MRT line, eclipsing the 35.7km Circle Line.

During the open house that drew close to 360,000 people, the Land Transport Authority hosted activities at the new stations, with Senior Minister of State for Transport Lam Pin Min touring the stations.

Singapore Civil Defence Force officers gave the public guided tours to view the MRT Civil Defence shelters at various stations.

Housewife Vivian Chong, 42, lives less than five minutes from the new Geylang Bahru station.

"The noise and dust we endured for the past years is worth it as the station will bring a lot of convenience to us," she said.

mrtSBS TransitBukit Panjang