Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Flooded tunnels in NSL: Commuters fear a repeat during work week

SINGAPORE — As services along a stretch of the North-South Line (NSL) crippled by flooded tunnels resumed on Sunday (Oct 8) afternoon, commuters reacted tepidly, wondering if the problem would recur during weekdays, where the public transport network is busier.

As services along a stretch of the North-South Line (NSL) crippled by flooded tunnels resumed on Sunday (Oct 8) afternoon, commuters reacted tepidly, wondering if the problem would recur during weekdays, where the public transport network is busier. Photo: Najeer Yusof/TODAY

As services along a stretch of the North-South Line (NSL) crippled by flooded tunnels resumed on Sunday (Oct 8) afternoon, commuters reacted tepidly, wondering if the problem would recur during weekdays, where the public transport network is busier. Photo: Najeer Yusof/TODAY

Singapore

Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

SINGAPORE — As services along a stretch of the North-South Line (NSL) crippled by flooded tunnels resumed on Sunday (Oct 8) afternoon, commuters reacted tepidly, wondering if the problem would recur during weekdays, where the public transport network is busier.

The Meteorological Service Singapore has forecast thundery showers over many areas on Monday morning, leading commuters to fear that there would be chaos if rainwater builds up again in underground tunnels when they travel to work.

Posting on Facebook page TATA SMRT, which was set up recently to crowdsource real-time information on train disruptions as well as suggestions for alternative travel routes, Mr Vincent Lee wrote: “(Tomorrow) how? Will happen again?”

On NSL operator SMRT’s Facebook page, another user, Mr Luke How, said: “In Singapore, there are monsoon rains every year, but there has never been flooding in tunnels before. What is the reason for the flooding this time? Are we going to have breakdowns every time it rains from today onwards?”

This weekend’s transport chaos began around 5:33pm on Saturday, when SMRT halted train services between Bishan and Toa Payoh MRT stations “as a precaution” due to flooding in the tunnel from Bishan to Braddell MRT stations, following a heavy downpour. In a separate incident, a small fire on the trackside in the tunnel between Marina Bay and Raffles Place MRT stations was also reported, though the flames later died out on its own.

SMRT suspended train services between Ang Mo Kio and Marina South Pier shortly after “for safety reasons”, then scaled back the shutdown to Newton to Ang Mo Kio stations later.

After overnight operations to clear water in the tunnels, train services along the affected stretch of six stations resumed at 1.50pm Sunday.

Speaking to TODAY at Bishan station shortly after trains began running, a commuter who only wanted to be known as Mrs Koh, 55, noted that long term improvements are needed.

“Over the years, flooding has been well-controlled in Singapore in my opinion. For something like this to happen, I think it is (a) very big (deal),” she said.

Her son, Mr Koh, 27, added: “It has become sort of like a gamble. Every time you take the train, you have no idea like whether it is going to come. People are slowly moving to alternative methods of transport like Grab.”

Student Nam Hayul, 16, hoped that commuters can be more understanding.

“The delay is not on purpose from SMRT’s end ... although it has affected almost everyone. Hopefully, they can improve on their system.”

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement on Sunday evening that preliminary investigations showed that a water pumping system had malfunctioned, allowing rainwater to enter through a portal opening near Bishan MRT station and accumulate in the tunnel towards Braddell station.

While the pump system has since been repaired, the LTA said detailed investigations into the cause of the incident are ongoing.

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.