SINGAPORE: Some 58,000 commuters were affected on Thursday when train services between HarbourFront and Dhoby Ghaut stations on the North East Line (NEL) were disrupted for six—and—a—half hours.
Rail operator SBS Transit said the disruption was traced to three broken U—shaped bolts between the HarbourFront and Outram Park stations, resulting in a power trip.
The fault is similar to one that had occurred in last August in the same tunnel section.
The stainless steel U—bolts in question were checked following the August incident and found to be in good working condition.
SBS Transit has decided to replace all U—bolts in the tunnel, starting with the section between HarbourFront and Outram Park stations.
This initial section contains about 1,900 U—bolts and is expected to take about three months for the replacement to be completed.
SBS Transit said it is working with the Land Transport Authority to review and examine all possible causes and contributory factors to the recent incidents.
Commuters were first alerted to the train disruption at about 10am on Thursday.
In addition to signboards, SBS staff wearing "Goodwill Ambassador" were also on the ground to advise and direct commuters on where to go.
Shuttle services were activated at designated bus stops at around 10.30am to provide free bus rides.
Commuters were informed at around 12.30pm that train services would resume in the late afternoon.
And shortly after 4.30pm, the full NEL service was up and running.
This is not the first time the NEL has been disrupted.
On December 20 last year, some 26,000 commuters were affected by a train fault.
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