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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)

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Related articles:

SMRT train delayed again due to ‘congestion’ ahead

Lui Tuck Yew: 13 percent of bus drivers from China

Lui Tuck Yew: Some train disruptions are ‘unavoidable’


4 Responses to “SMRT: 30 minute delay due to ‘train fault’ between Pasir Ris and Tanah Merah stations”

  1. Sensible said

    Go and google HK MTR breakdown and you will see that they do encounter some too.

  2. Bulls said

    Fucking deserve it, import more peasants, cripple your world class train. CCB

  3. Aberdyn said

    It appeared Singapore’s public transport services are becoming unreliable in the recent months. Breakdowns occurred to the MRT system quite frequently. When breakdown happens it will affect a large proportion of people commuting the system. As a result, a disruption to a free flow transport service that cause massive mayhem to the members of the public especially during the rush peak hours in the morning and evening. As a compact metropolitan city the public transports like the MRT and Buses are essential services to the people and wherever possible these services should be made available and reliable at all times.

    We are not saying everything should be perfect all the times but at least the disruption to the services be kept to the minimum. It seems efforts had be made to address and rectify the problem but it remain unsolved. The inception of the system in the mid eighties till recently the services were quite excellent with very lest incidences of disruption occurred but not now. We do not know what was exactly the caused of these frequent breakdowns. SMRT’s explanation every time a breakdown occurred would say the same reasons typically of technical problems to the systems.

    Unlike in the eighties and in the nineties seldom we had this problems and breakdown are rare. We do know that the systems is more complex now due the expansion networks having more lines like the North East, East West, North West and the Circle lines in operations and it’s a more complicated to operates but we have to have a very good and reliable people to manage it. Just look at countries like Japan, Germany and France and even Hong Kong of their subway system which are quite similar to ours, the services, are good with very minimum or almost zero disruption.

    I think the authority particularly the transport ministry and the Land Transport Authority must look into more precise details on the caused of these frequent breakdowns and ensure that the system is being manage by a very qualified engineers, technicians and skilled workers in this specific profession. Only experts on the field are able to identify and managed the job well. We sometime wonder if the SMRT outsource its engineering work to contractors on the systems and delegated the repair work to the not so qualified people, and as a result the breakdowns debacles.

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