Photo by @pohlim

Massive delay along North-South Line during morning rush hour

Commuters rushing for school and work on the North-South line (NSL) were met with an unexpected delay in their morning commute as they tried to assess the situation without any announcement by train operator SMRT.

SMRT only made an announcement of the delay at 9.10, more than two hours or more since the delay occurred. Stating that the cause of the delay as signalling fault and asked commuters to cater for additional 20 minutes of travelling time.

SMRT had earlier cautioned commuters on 26 May to cater for additional travelling time as its engineers resolve teething issues on the new signalling system for the NSL from 29 May.

It noted that issues that commuters may face, include train and platform doors not opening or closing promptly, trains remaining at stations longer than usual, and trains stopping for short durations between stations. System-level performance checks will be carried out on the new signalling system for the NSL during weekdays.

Alternative transportation for affected commuters  was said to have been arranged at 9.13am but some might say it as being far too late.

At 9.47am, SMRT announced that the service along North South Line is back to normal.

According to social media users on twitter, the signs of delay had been showing since 6.30 in the morning.

Based on information provided by the social media users, the cause of the delay seems to be between Bukit Gombak and Bukit Batok MRT station as trains are said to be stuck between the two stations.

@Marie posted on twitter a photo of the tracks and noted that there are three trains along the tracks.

Commuters are told that various explanation such as train being ahead and in one account, the train operator said that someone pressed the emergency button before saying that it is a signalling fault.

Many were late for work and school and complained that lack of announcement by the train operator.

Some said that they could have been warned earlier to make alternative arrangement for transport while some said the lack of announcement made it difficult to explain to their bosses why they are late.

There was also a report of two fainting incidents at Bukit Batok MRT station.

Many have refuted SMRT’s announcement to cater for 2o mins of additional travelling time as they have experienced up to 4o mins of delay and some even being stuck in the trains for 30 mins or more.


This is one of many service delays since SMRT started its signalling test checks since 29 may.  While some major incidents were reported, a few slipped by the news as SMRT did not make any announcements of the delays and commuters were probably too numb to voice out.