North East Line service disruption, passengers either stuck in train or asked to leave train station

A reader has informed TOC that the services for both directions along the North East Line (NEL) is affected due to a train fault.

Although the station announced that the delay will be 15 mins, the reader was stuck in the train cabin for 20 over mins.

He was earlier told to alight the train along with the other passengers. He told TOC that many of the passengers were seen exiting the Woodleigh MRT station.

Another individual on Twitter posted that he is stuck in Buangkok station with the doors closed.


The NEL is operated by transport operator, SBS Transit Ltd.

No announcement has been made on social media by the train operator. Its mobile app also shows that train services are operating normally.

update sbs
The reader told TOC, “Funny that they still announcing additional 15 mins travelling time when whole system is down. That’s very optimistic”

At 9.26pm, Land Transport Authority announced that there is no train service between Punggol and Serangoon stations due to train fault.

Only at 9.30pm, SBS Transit published a post on its twitter stating that there has been a service disruption.

At 9.39pm, SBS announced that there is free shuttle buses available.

However, the mobile app by 9.50pm still showed that the NEL is running normally.

After refreshing the app, the post writes that it was posted at 9.39pm but the timestamp shows 9.55pm. So which is which?

At 10.50pm, SBS Transit announces that NEL service resumed at 10.49pm.

Where has the public announcement criteria gone?

InĀ Exercise Greyhound (2012) carried out jointly by LTA, SBS Transit and SMRT, social media was identified asĀ one of the evaluation criteria for public communication during service disruptions:

“LTA, as the exercise coordinator, assessed SMRT and SBSTā€™s arrangement for free travel on existing public bus services, and the operation of bus shuttle services to provide transport service between the affected MRT stations. They were also tested on public communications, which included promptly informing the public of a service disruption and providing regular updates at the stations and through the media andĀ social media channels such as twitter until normal service is resumed.”

TOC had earlier contacted LTA in 2014 to seek their responseĀ on SMRT and SBS Transit’sĀ failure to make public announcement of train faults. LTA has yet to respondĀ till today.