Nobody likes train disruptions, no matter the reason why.
We don’t really care whether it’s because of man-made faults like technical difficulties, or natural occurrences that are out of our control. We just want our damn train ride so that we can either 1) reach work on time or 2) reach home early or 3) both.
But sometimes, tough luck just wants to join in the fun. And make our lives more miserable than they already are.
Take for example, the North South Line disruption on Saturday evening. Or to be more precise, on Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
The North South Line (NSL) Disruption lasted more than 3 hours
On Saturday (October 8), service from Ang Mo Kio to Marina South Pier was stopped for more than 3 hours.
3 hours. I can already imagine the poor commuters shaking their heads, sucking their thumbs and getting up that old bus.
The direct cause: A flood
A heavy downpour had caused a part of the tunnel between Braddell and Bishan MRT stations to be flooded.
A flood in sunny Singapore? Wait, don’t tell me. A tsunami’s next in line?
How did it happen?
According to LTA, there was a “‘portal opening’ near Bishan MRT station, where rail tracks that are above ground descend underground.”
Lest you’re not aware, Bishan MRT Station is the only station that is one ground level (not above ground or underground).
The indirect cause: Pipe malfunction
“Under normal circumstances, rainwater runoff accumulated in the adjacent storm water sump pit would have been siphoned off by a system of pumps,” LTA said.
However, the water pumping system had malfunctioned, causing rainwater to spill over from the collection pit into the tunnel, and to gather at the tunnel’s lowest point – between Bishan and Braddell stations.
Once SMRT caught wind of it, they turned off the trackside power supply as a form of safety measure.
An unknown fire
Around the same time, a small fire had erupted on the trackside in the tunnel between the Marina Bay and Raffles Place MRT stations. According to SMRT, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was deployed almost instantaneously to Marina Bay, but the fire had died out by itself by the time they arrived at the scene.
Yay; now we have small fires out of nowhere.
What a splendid turn of events.
This event, however, is completely unrelated to the disruption. Just a coincidence.
Train services from Newton to Ang Mo Kio stations were suspended for almost 20 hours
Here’s a timeline of what happened lest you’ve spent the entire weekend sleeping in the comfort of your bed.
8 October 2017
At 5.33pm, train services halted between Bishan and Toa Payoh MRT stations, following the flood in the tunnels between Bishan to Braddell MRT stations.
At 6.05pm, train services between 13 stations – from Ang Mo Kio to Marina South Pier – are suspended. For safety reasons, NSL train services between Ang Mo Kio and Marina South Pier are unavailable.
At 9.22pm, train services between Newton and Marina South Pier are back up.
At 10.45pm, SMRT said that train services from Newton to Ang Mo Kio stations in both directions are unavailable till the end of service on Saturday, and engineers will check through the tunnels throughout the night.
9 October 2017
At 6.09am, service is not yet up and running. SMRT are striving to bring operations back up at 9am.
At 8.32am, work to clear water in the tunnels between Bishan and Braddell MRT stations are still ongoing.
At 10.09am, the water is “almost cleared,” but the stations are not open yet.
At 1.52pm, SMRT announces that train services in opposite directions between Newton and Ang Mo Kio MRT stations have resumed operations.
The pump system has been repaired
LTA confirms that the pump system has been repaired, and have initiated checks on other portal pump systems found along the NSL and East-West Line.
Plugging through the night
But we would have to save our thanks for the heroes from SCDF and national water agency PUB, because without them the MRT service would be toast.
Throughout the night, they were working tirelessly alongside our LTA and SMRT staff member pals to get the damn water out of the tunnel.
Even SBS Transit chipped in to help, although they were technically on standby to support their efforts.
It’s alright; Transit. Moral support is a big player in any team sport.
According to LTA, “Affected trackside equipment was subsequently inspected, cleaned, replaced and tested before passenger services resumed.”
I really want to trust your words, LTA. I really want to. But if I had a coin for every time you said, “we will endeavour to prevent any train disruptions from happening again”, I reckon I would have enough to fill my piggy bank.
Investigations are still ongoing
LTA has said that they are investigating the malfunctioning pump, as well as the trackside fire that had died by itself.
I can’t even interject any smarmy comments here, because there’s some serious business going over there.
Aquaman and the Human Torch are no joke, really.
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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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