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Commuters outraged after 3 SMRT track faults in 5 hours

SINGAPORE — The North-South and East-West lines — both run by SMRT — were hit with three service disruptions in less than five hours on Tuesday (Aug 2), sparking outrage on social media.

The North-South and East-West lines — both run by SMRT — were hit with three service disruptions in less than five hours on Aug 2, 2016. Photo: Koh Mui Fong

The North-South and East-West lines — both run by SMRT — were hit with three service disruptions in less than five hours on Aug 2, 2016. Photo: Koh Mui Fong

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SINGAPORE — The North-South and East-West lines — both run by SMRT — were hit with three service disruptions in less than five hours on Tuesday (Aug 2), sparking outrage on social media.

Two disruptions happened during the morning peak period. The first, just before 9am, saw service between Boon Lay and Joo Koon on the East-West Line (EWL) halted due to a track fault. Shortly after, SMRT alerted commuters to expect travel time between Yishun and Woodlands on the North-South Line (NSL) to take 10 minutes longer, due to another track fault.

Services on the EWL returned to normal by 9.40am, and on the NSL sometime after 10am.

But at 1.25pm, SMRT said there was a track fault between Ang Mo Kio and Admiralty on the NSL in the direction of Jurong East, which would delay travelling time by 15 minutes.

Commuters took to social media to unload. A Twitter user with the handle Jennie said she was on her way to sign a contract when the disruption occurred. Another commuter with the username Denyse Leong on Facebook said she was “very disappointed” with SMRT after experiencing two disruptions in two weeks of travelling to Nanyang Technological University.

Responding to TODAY’s queries, SMRT’s vice-president for corporate information and communications, Patrick Nathan, said that for the EWL disruption, trackside signalling equipment lost power. SMRT is still investigating the cause of the power fault, he added.

As for the first disruption on the NSL, there was a track point failure near Admiralty MRT Station. “As a precaution, trains were travelling over the affected point at slower speeds to ensure the safety of our passengers,” he added.

TODAY understands the delay on the NSL in the afternoon was to allow maintenance crew to go down to the tracks to fix this same problem.

SMRT, which has been dogged by train disruptions and delays, has been offered a deal worth S$1.18 billion to take the company private. The move, said analysts, would allow the operator to sharpen its focus on being a service provider.

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