Photo: A SMRT passenger who was unable to take it in any longer.

by Wan Dan Liao, Straight Times

Singapore – More than 250,000 commuters were stranded in SMRT train stations yesterday evening (7 Jul) when a power outage caused the shutdown of the entire North-South-East-West line.

It is the first time that services the entire North-South-East-West line broken down at the same time. This is possibly the worst MRT breakdown Singapore has experienced.

Initial investigations suspected a faulty train could have triggered the power surge which led to the massive breakdown.

SMRT insiders have informed ST that the public listed company have convened a board meeting late last night and approved plans to purchase 154 diesel-powered trains to replace the current fleet of aging trains and resolve electrical power lines issue that has plagued SMRT for years.

According to tender documents ST has received, the diesel-powered trains will be six carriages long with five passenger cabins. The last carriage carries more than 900 liters of liquid diesel fuel that could last the train for close to 3 days.

ST got in touch with SMRT Corp’s Commuters Moving Group Director Mr Ma Sai di who acknowledged the ambitious S$122.5 million plan.

“We have to do it,” Mr Ma said wearily. “Our primary concern is ensuring we keep moving people and enhance their lives.”

When asked if this would affect future transport fares, Mr Ma declined to comment and directed the query to Public Transport Council, the government-linked body that regulates public transport fees.

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