Train service on the North-South Line was disrupted early on Wednesday morning (Nov 25) due to a power fault at Ang Mo Kio station, SMRT said.
The rail operator said in a Twitter post at 5.54am that train service was not available between Yishun and Marina South Pier in both directions. About 20 minutes later, it posted an update saying that train service was not available between Yishun and Bishan.
Free bus services were activated between Yishun and Marina South Pier, SMRT said.
At 6.57am, SMRT posted another tweet advising passengers travelling towards Orchard and Marina South Pier from Yishun and Woodlands to travel via Jurong East Station or other lines.
The rail operator said in an update at 7.26am that more buses have been deployed.
At 8.11am, SMRT said train service had resumed after engineers restored power at Ang Mo Kio station. Free bus services ended at about 9.45am.
Several commuters reported seeing fire engines and ambulances outside Ang Mo Kio MRT station. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said a fire occurred at the station at 5.50am, and the fire was put out with two 9kg fire extinguishers. No injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation, SCDF said.
It was not immediately clear if the fire was related to the train disruption.
DISRUPTION NOT RELATED TO JUL 7 BREAKDOWN
Speaking to reporters at Ang Mo Kio MRT station, Mr Lee Ling Wee, managing director of SMRT trains, “deeply apologised” to commuters. He said Wednesday’s disruption was not related to the Jul 7 breakdown, which crippled the North-South and East-West Lines for more than three hours during the evening peak period.
Land Transport Authority (LTA) Chief Executive Chew Men Leong said the train disruption on Wednesday was a “localised” one. “We worked very closely with SMRT to activate free bus boarding and also called in additional resources from SBS Transit to beef up support. Now what we’re trying to do is establish the root cause,” he said.
In a statement to the media on Wednesday, LTA said preliminary investigations indicate that a power breaker at Ang Mo Kio MRT station was damaged. The exact cause of the incident is under investigation, it added.
STUDENTS, COMMUTERS AFFECTED
Wednesday's breakdown, which happened on the day of the A Level English Literature paper, comes nearly a month after a two-hour breakdown on the North East Line caused some students taking key examinations to be late.
LTA said the Singapore Examinations and Assessment Board was informed of the train disruption. "SEAB has given candidates the assurance that they will not be penalised for being late and they will be given the full duration for the examination," it said.
The National University of Singapore, where students were scheduled to take a mathematics paper at 9am, delayed the examination by 30 minutes due to the disruption.
Irate commuters posted photos of crowded train stations and bus-stops on social media.
"Residents told me that the replacement buses were full by the time they left the interchange, so people waiting at other stops couldn't board for up to an hour. This meant it was really packed at bus-stops," she said, adding that at a bus stop opposite Khatib MRT, the crowd was standing on the road.
"While the traffic marshals should have prevented this dangerous situation from happening, I hope residents can be more safety conscious," she said. "I will push for the transport companies to implement better contingency planning."