SMRT Taichi Breakdown Blame to Maintenance Staff

SINGAPORE — Human error played a role in at least two of the three train service disruptions this month, SMRT said today (Jan 29).

The train that stalled between Yio Chu Kang and Ang Mo Kio during the morning rush hour on Jan 20 did so because the battery of its signalling system had been drained after a technician failed to close two circuit breakers after routine nightly servicing.

The stalled train caused nearly an hour’s service disruption, affecting an estimated 19,000 passengers.

SMRT said the technician has been disciplined, while pre-launch train checks will be more highly supervised from now on.

The disruption between Expo and Tanah Merah stations on Jan 22 happened because a train captain failed to observe a signal light on the track.

Train services were suspended for safety reasons so that engineers could verify the safety and integrity of the network. The train captain has since been disciplined, SMRT said.

In the third incident, a damaged cable between Yew Tee and Kranji stations caused a power supply disruption at noon on Jan 11, resulting in a train stalling midway between the two station.

SMRT’s investigations found that the cable had been worn out by chaffing against an installation bracket.

The operator said that the damaged cable had been repaired and a cable inspection was carried out to make sure there were no similar instances of wear elsewhere in the system.

A condition monitoring system that will help with the detection of such faults is also in the works, SMRT said.

SMRT said that they continue to emphasise improvements in areas of staff training and discipline, preventive maintenance and service delivery.

“However, even with the best efforts and systems, there will be the occasional delay and unexpected disruption,” said Ms Alina Boey, SMRT’s director of media and marketing communications.

“In such an eventuality, we appreciate the patience and understanding of our commuters and apologize for any inconvenience caused,” she said.

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