North-South Line hit by second day of delays
Signalling fault causes three-hour delay on North-South Line during rush hour yesterday
New signalling trials caused delays that lasted over three hours during the evening peak period on the North-South Line (NSL) yesterday.
It was hit by a 30-minute delay between Yew Tee and Yishun stations in both directions.
On its Facebook page, SMRT said: "Due to a signalling fault, NSL train services in both directions between Kranji and Admiralty stations have been running at a slower speed since 5.05pm."
About 30 minutes later, SMRT advised commuters in a tweet to "seek alternative transport or other train lines due to signalling fault".
Full-time national serviceman Arif Maskon was looking forward to breaking fast with his family after a day of physical training, but his plans were put on hold due to the delay.
Speaking to The New Paper, the 22-year-old, who was on a train stuck between Yew Tee and Kranji stations, said: "I had planned to reach home by 7pm, but it is already 7.20pm now, and I have not broken my fast."
This was the second time in as many days that the NSL had experienced delays.
In a joint-statement yesterday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT explained that the faults behind the last two days' delays were unrelated.
Thursday's evening peak-hour disruption lasted about 80 minutes and was caused by a glitch in the computer server used to manage train schedules, according to the LTA-SMRT statement.
The delays on Friday was triggered by a fault in a signalling equipment called the movement authority unit (MAU).
Mr Glen Chua, who was among the commuters affected yesterday, hopes that the problems will be solved quickly.
"This is a Friday, a day people want to go home, spend time with their families and look forward to a good weekend," he said.
At around 7.55pm yesterday, SMRT tweeted that the faults had been rectified and train services were progressively returning to normal.
At around 8.30pm, it said train services had resumed.
In a statement yesterday, SMRT explained that it has been running tests progressively since March 28, collaborating with the LTA and Thales, the supplier of the new signalling system for the NSL.
Phase One of the tests started with the last hour of passenger service on selected weekdays.
SMRT said: "Since April 16, we moved into Phase Two of the trials on full-Sunday service and have not experienced any major incident for the past seven weeks. This gave us the confidence to move into Phase Three this week, which involved full-day weekday trials."
System-level performance checks during Phase Three revealed two unrelated faults - one on Thursday and another yesterday evening.
"Today (June 2), a signalling equipment known as the movement authority unit (MAU) registered a fault at around 4.48pm," SMRT said, which "resulted in slower train movement between Kranji and Admiralty stations".
It explained that the recovery took time as its engineers needed to troubleshoot and replace components in the faulty MAU.
On May 26, SMRT had warned commuters of delays prior to this week's trials. Yesterday, it warned there could be more delays.
It said: "As we continue to intensify the testing of the new signalling system and until the system stabilises, there may potentially be more delays."