Singapore: East-West Line delay due to switch mechanism problem cause unexpected experience for commuters

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An SMRT train arrives at a station in Singapore 19 July 2016 Reuters/ Edgar Su

Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary said that due to a problem with the switch mechanism, a track fault near Clementi MRT station has caused unexpected delays along the East-West Line (EWL) on Wednesday.

The SMRT Corporation first tweeted about the fault almost five hours ago but engineers were still trying to fix the issue. Later, at around 12.30 pm the transport operators tweeted, "Train services on the EW L are available. However, please add 30 mins train travel time between #BoonLay and #Queenstown."

Photos and videos, taken by commuters have shown a huge crowd at the affected MRT stations while waiting for the problem to solve. But, as per reports they were advised use the North-South Line via Woodlands and Ang Mo Kio.

Minister Puthucheary said that after spending hours to find out the core of this problem, the authority has finally identified the issue. He also added that they could have stopped the services and allow the authorities to concentrate on repairing the problem, but since such decision could affect the usual life of the commuters, they have decided to allow the trains to pass slowing down to commute.

As per Puthucheary, slowing down the movement of trains, instead of stopping the services was a balanced decision that would not affect the commuters. But he said that SMRT and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) both required a little bit more time to ascertain exactly what the problem is with the switch mechanism. He also said that the engineers are still on the ground and as they expect, this problem would be solved in a few hours.

However, almost one hour ago the SMRT Corporation tweeted that the trains are running to normal speed. A few minutes later, they confirmed that the services have resumed and "Free regular & bridging bus services have ended."