SMRT: 30 minute delay due to ‘train fault’ between Pasir Ris and Tanah Merah stations
Posted by temasektimes on April 14, 2012
Barely a week after Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew ‘assured’ Singaporeans that he would try to minimize the frequency of ‘major’ train disruptions lasting more than 30 minutes, SMRT is hit by a 30-minute train service delay between Pasir Ris and Tanah Merah MRT stations Friday evening.
According to an official statement by SMRT, the latest train disruption is attributed to a fault on a westbound train between Tampines and Simei station.
SMRT said the train travelling behind the stalled train was used to assist it. Passengers on board the stalled train alighted at Simei station at 7.36pm, while passengers on the assisting train alighted at 7.43pm.
It added that eastbound passengers between City Hall and Pasir Ris MRT stations would have experienced a general service delay for a 20 to 40-minute period, as the high train frequencies operated during the rush hour can lead to a congestion when there is a train fault.
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew has earlier said in Parliament that ‘minor’ disruptions less than 30 minutes are ‘unavoidable’:
“We will try and minimise as much as possible the major disruptions and to keep them in check. But I think it is unavoidable that a system that is as heavily utilised as ours is today will not face any disruptions. Every day there are about 2.7 million passenger trips. We are running thousands of train trips for more than 18 hours a day. And I dare say that there is no way you can prevent disruptions from occurring.”
Pauline Tay wrote on Facebook:
“HK train system is in operation before SG and I have never been caught in a single breakdown in the past 6 years here, not to mention it runs every ONE min apart during peak hour transporting as many commuters than we do.”
However, many Singaporeans felt the frequent train disruptions are UNACCEPTABLE especially when compared with other ‘First World’ cities like Tokyo, Taipei and Hong Kong where such breakdowns and delays are almost unheard of.
Japanese railways are among the most punctual in the world. The average delay on the Tokaido Shinkansen in fiscal 2006 was only 0.3 minutes. When trains are delayed for as little as five minutes, the conductor makes an announcement apologizing for the delay and the railway company may provide a “delay certificate” (遅延証明書), as no one would expect a train to be this late. (read more here)