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SMRT is blaming a “mysterious” signal interference for a 3-hour-long morning peak hour train breakdown yesterday (Nov 2).

According to SMRT, their preliminary findings on the malfunctioning signalling system revealed a communication glitch similar to the one which disrupted service on the line for a week in late August. The issue in August were however solved as the “mysterious” signal disappeared before they could find the source.

There was no explanation how SMRT got the signal system working again yesterday and their only explanation was that the interference signal went away after 3 hours.

Although SMRT is unable to find the source of the signal interference, they are blaming teleco companies like Singtel and Starhub.

SMRT and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a press release that they will terminate the mobile network in the train stations for “short” periods of time, just to ascertain whether if the mobile network is the cause.

Unfortunately for SMRT, later in the peak-hour evening around 5.45pm on the same day (Nov 3), the East-West Line broke down. A train fault at Tiong Bahru station was behind the breakdown. There was no service between Queenstown and Outram Park stations towards Pasir Ris for 45 minutes.

Singapore’s train breakdowns typically happen during peak hours because of over-capacity. However the Singapore government refuses to acknowledge overcrowding issues in Singapore because Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong intended to increase the population to 6.9 million from the current 5.65 million.

The excuses for the train breakdowns so far has been mainly signalling fault, rail sleeper fault, cracks in MRT train, malfunctioning train brakes and “general” train fault. The Minister of Transport Khaw Boon Wan refuse to comment on any of these incidents and have been evading media enquiries.

The removal of mobile network in train stations will put Singapore the first country in the world to have train stations with no mobile network access.