During a signalling fault on Friday (Sep 15), a South-bound MRT train reversed direction at Toa Payoh station and headed back in the North-bound direction to Ang Mo Kio station, possibly risking collision. The fault happened at 9pm, and SMRT wrongly published an announcement reporting that the delay would take 20 minutes. Services resumed nearly an hour later at 10.09pm.
According to commuters, SMRT did not make any announcement at the stations and commuters in the trains blindly waited for instruction. There was also no station staff advising commuters where to go or if there is any free shuttle bus services. Commuters at Raffles Place station said that announcements made over the public address system was inaudible and commuters blindly waited for over 10 minutes for the train doors to close.
There was also no signage set up to guide commuters and chaos ensued in all North-South Line stations. There is no follow-up comment on the incident by SMRT’s two CEO – Desmond Kwek and Lee Ling Wee – and Singapore’s two Transport Ministers – Ng Chee Meng and Khaw Boon Wan.
The train fault happened right after Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan promised “quantum improvements” on Monday, and complaining to the public that he is not “lazing around and giving excuses”. The Transport Minister said he will need 7 years to fix the train faults and told Singaporeans to “bear with it”.