Train service resumes on Thomson-East Coast Line after 3.5 hour disruption, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Train service resumes on Thomson-East Coast Line after 3.5 hour disruption

Train service has resumed on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), about 3.5 hours after a signal fault disrupted commutes along the entire line in both directions and left some commuters stuck on six stalled trains.

In a tweet at around 11.35am, SMRT said trains are running again along the nine-station stretch between Woodlands North and Caldecott. Free regular bus services and bus bridging services are still available, it added.

SMRT had first reported the signal fault on Twitter at around 8.25am, and said trains on the line were moving slower. At 8.40am, it said there was no service along the entire TEL - Singapore's newest rail line - in both directions.

In a subsequent Facebook post, the company said the fault started at around 8.05am.

Commuters on board the six stalled trains were able to disembark safely at their nearest stations, SMRT said, without specifying how many commuters were affected or how long they were stuck in the trains for.

There was full lighting and ventilation in the stalled trains while the commuters were on board, the transport operator added in its post.

SMRT said it has deployed engineers to rectify the issue, as well as additional staff to help with crowd management.

“We are sorry to have affected commuters’ peak-hour journeys,” SMRT said.

A long line of commuters were seen waiting for the bridging bus service outside Caldecott MRT station when The Straits Times arrived at about 9am.

Those interviewed said they had been waiting for about 20 minutes for the bus, and it took an hour in total before the first double-decker bridging bus arrived at the MRT station at 9.45am.

A commuter who wanted to be known only as Philip said the crowd at Mayflower station was about two to three times the usual size.

"There was a broadcast message at the station. It first said there was a delay, before announcing that there was no service," the 49-year-old civil servant added. He had arrived at Mayflower station at around 8am and waited for 20 minutes before taking a taxi to his office in Ghim Moh.

This is the third fault on the TEL in recent months.

On April 27, 50 commuters were stuck in a stalled train between Woodlands and Woodlands South stations for more than 1½ hours due to a train fault that morning.

On May 19, SMRT said a signal fault caused trains to move slower in both directions across the entire TEL, resulting in an additional 10 minutes of waiting time for commuters.

The TEL was opened in stages, with the first stage between Woodlands North and Woodlands South stations opening in January 2020 and the second stage - comprising six stations between Springleaf and Caldecott - opening for passenger service in August last year.

TEL Stage 3, which will comprise 11 stations between Stevens and Gardens by the Bay, is set to open later this year.

In preparation for this, SMRT and the Land Transport Authority have been testing the integrated systems and trains for TEL Stages 1 to 3 since early this year. 

Between Feb 26 and May 29, train services on the TEL started later on weekends to carve out additional engineering hours for testing.