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Root cause of latest MRT breakdown still not pinpointed

SINGAPORE — After a second round of checks yesterday (July 8) night that failed to pinpoint the cause of the previous day’s massive MRT breakdown, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said today that it would hire an independent consultant specialising in transit power systems.

Root cause of latest MRT breakdown still not pinpointed

Commuters at City Hall MRT Station on July 8, 2015, a day after a massive breakdown on the North-South and East-West Lines. TODAY file photo

SINGAPORE — After a second round of checks yesterday (July 8) night that failed to pinpoint the cause of the previous day’s massive MRT breakdown, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said today (July 9) that it would hire an independent consultant specialising in transit power systems.

The consultant will assess the overall condition of the entire power supply infrastructure and other railway trackside installations for the North-South and East-West lines. The assessment could start this month once the experts are on board. In the meantime, the LTA and SMRT will continue with their checks on the system.

The unprecedented breakdown during evening peak period on Tuesday saw train services stopped for around three hours for all 54 stations on the North-South and East-West Lines, affecting about 250,000 commuters across the island.

That night, checks were conducted and three problems were identified and rectified. But the root cause of the power trips that crippled two MRT lines simultaneously was not uncovered.

Today night, LTA and SMRT engineers conducted another round of checks, including visual checks on all trains. They also tested the insulation between the cables and third rail to make sure the test components of the power supply equipment are in “good working order”.

Engineers also installed data loggers at specific points on the lines that experienced power trips in the Tuesday breakdown to monitor the running rail voltage. “Despite carrying out a comprehensive second round of checks, we have yet to definitively identify the root cause of the disruption,” the LTA said.

Today, train services on the North-South and East-West lines ran normally, said LTA. Nevertheless, the regulator advised commuters to check for travel updates before starting their trips.

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