Photo of arranged photoshoot of Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan on crowded train on Oct 19 by ASS

Following two severe disruptions during the peak hours of Thursday and Friday (Jun 2), Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) and train operator SMRT announced that they will have to conduct more “tests” next week.

According to a joint press release, the testing is now in “phase 3” and that the “tests” will continue from next week onward:

“There could be more delays while the line’s new signalling system is being tested. The tests first started with the last hour of passenger service on selected weekdays. This progressed to the second phase of testing, which started on Apr 16, involving full-day trials on Sundays. There were no major incidents during this stage of testing. This gave us the confidence to move into phase three this week, which involved full-day weekday trials.”

Severe train disruptions have caused inconvenience to an estimated over 300,000 commuters on the NSL during the peak hours of the two days. Most commuters who were stuck in the “tests” saw their travelling time extended by more than 30 minutes, with the trains they are in barely moving an inch.

LTA and SMRT then blame the engineers for “intensifying the tests” and said Singaporeans should be understanding:

“There could be more delays in the coming days, as we intensify the testing of the new signalling system until it stabilises. LTA, SMRT and Thales engineers are intensifying system-level checks.  We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused and seek the understanding of commuters.”

According to SMRT last week, the new signalling system was released for operation use without being fully tested. SMRT then told commuters to expect “glitches”.

SMRT: New signalling system not in full working condition, expect glitch