26,000 affected by NEL service disruption

SINGAPORE: Services on the North East Line (NEL) were disrupted at about 4pm on Thursday, affecting 26,000 train commuters. Full services were restored at about 5pm.

A statement from SBS Transit said there was no service between Punggol and Little India. The disruption was apparently due to a train fault at Serangoon station.

SBS Transit said a train heading towards HarbourFront station was "immobilised" by a self—activating emergency brake while approaching Serangoon station.

It remained in brake mode despite attempts to reset it.

A rear train was then deployed to push the faulty train to the platform at Serangoon station so that some 200 commuters on board could alight.

Close to 130 goodwill ambassadors were activated to assist in crowd control and assist passengers with enquiries.

Free bus rides were made available at designated bus stops near affected NEL stations.

SBS Transit has apologised for the inconvenience caused.

A caller to the MediaCorp hotline said a train had apparently broken down.

Another passenger said she had been stuck in the train for about 30 minutes.

"I have no idea what happened actually, I was a bit confused at the beginning and waited for the train to come, it came and I was happy," recounted a commuter whom Channel NewsAsia spoke to.

Some felt that announcements at the stations could be improved, as they could not hear the announcements clearly.

This is the third service disruption to hit the line in 2012.

— CNA/xq