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Photo of the power outage at Bukit Batok MRT (Photo from Dr Chee Soon Juan's fanpage)

Third MRT service disruption in a week and twice within 12 hours

This morning on 26 April, train service on the North-South Line (NSL) was disrupted for close to 20 minutes with no service from Woodlands to Kranji stations. This followed less than 12 hours after a 30-minute breakdown which affected the NSL, East-West Line (NSEWL) and Circle Line (CCL) the night before at 7.53 pm.

This morning’s breakdown occurred at 6.31 am, with SMRT informing the public through its Twitter and explaining that the cause a traction power fault. Free public and shuttle bus services were made available at the affected stations until train service resumed 18 minutes later at 6.49 am. An apology for the disruption was made by SMRT on its Facebook page.

SMRT has stated that it is currently investigating whether this morning’s and the previous evening’s disruptions were related.

During the rush hour yesterday, the NSL, NSEWL and CCL MRT lines as well as the Bukit Panjang Light Rail Transit (LRT) network were hit by the breakdowns.

Train services on the NSEWL resumed half an hour after the breakdown at 8.23 pm, while services on the CCL took around an hour to be resumed. The disruption lasted the longest for the LRT line, with services resuming only two hours later at around 10 pm.

The stations affected during the breakdown yesterday also suffered blackouts and a loss of air-conditioning. The stations were without power except for emergency lights.

Yesterday’s breakdown was due to a power dip at the Buona Vista power intake station, said SMRT. The cause of the subsequent breakdown, a traction power fault, is being investigated.

It has been three breakdowns in a span of less than a week. Last Thursday, on 21 April, train service on the NSL from Marina South Pier to Newton stopped running for almost an hour due to a stalled locomotive at Raffles Place station in the morning.

Just last Tuesday, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced in a blog post that the NSL had passed the 100-day major incident-free milestone on 18 April.