Singapore’s train system saw another major disruption on Monday (Sep 11) just before Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan delivered a grandiose speech about rail reliability improvement. On Monday’s peak hour morning around 9.25am, a Circle Line train near Marymount Station stalled after emergency brakes were applied for reason still unknown SMRT.
The hour-long disruption caused major chaos at all stations on the Circle Line, with commuters severely inconvenienced. According to the Ministry of Education, the GCE N Level examinations were held on that day but the ministry did not comment how many students were affected.
A NUS university student interviewed by state media Straits Times said that the announcement by SMRT was also inaccurate:
“When the train stalled at Caldecott, they announced that it was going to be a five-minute delay. Then 30 minutes later, they said it was going to be a 30-minute delay. If they had said 30 minutes from the start, I would have got off and taken the bus, and maybe made it in time for my lecture.”
On the same day in Parliament, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan claimed that rail reliability has improved and that he is “halfway through” to fixing the rail problems:
“This can be seen in the improvement in reliability for the North-South Line ahead of the East-West Line, as the North-South Line was upgraded first. This is captured in the mean kilometre between failure (MKBF) measurement, which counts delays of more than five minutes. The North-South Line registered a better 291,000 train-km in the first quarter of 2017, while the East-West Line stood at 215,000 train-km… With a newer and more robust design, power faults related to the third rail can be minimised and overall reliability of the North-South and East-West Lines will improve… We are half-way there. The cup is half-full, and the data shows it. Next year, we will fill it up some more.”