The Bishan MRT Flooding Apparently Cost $2 Million. Here’s What You Should Know

Image: CNA

All red-liners should know that the North-South Line is the most unpredictable line ever, especially during peak hour.

I personally take the red line only when I have extra time to spare, due to all the small delays every now and then that I have to factor in.

When I’m in a rush, I would rather change lines 3 times and reach on time, rather than get a seat on the red line and arrive 40 minutes later.

Okay that’s enough of personal sharing.

I’m sure you all remember the flooding incident.

No, not the one earlier this week in East Singapore.

Image: AsiaOne

I’m talking about this.

Image: The Straits Times

Seems too long ago? Let me refresh your memory.

On Oct 7 last year, there was flooding in the tunnel between Bishan and Braddell MRT station.

Effects of the flood

The flood, which occurred after heavy rain, had caused the equipment by the tracks to be submerged in water.

The underside of the trains caught in the flood were also submerged, hence causing the components to become faulty.

Image: screen capture of a video by CNA

The waters reached up to 1 metre in height and covered 100 metres of tracks in both directions, according to Channel NewsAsia.

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Train services were disrupted for more than 20 hours on the North-South Line (NSL) and 231,000 commuters were affected.

The cost of damage came up to about $2 million, according to Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, and all is borne by SMRT.

Why it happened

An investigation report released by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) found three problems caused by negligence by the maintenance workers.

They were found to have faked maintenance records for nearly a year when they had not carried out their work.

Like saying you did your homework, when you didn’t, but on a much, much larger scale.

Image: Giphy

Getting technical

Two of the problems had to do with not cleaning a huge stormwater tank, when it’s obviously supposed to be done.

There was dirty substance found building up in the bottom of the tank . These could have prevented the float switches from being functional when the water level is too high.

The float switches are meant to activate the water pumps to get rid of the excess water.

These could also “hampered the efficiency of the pumps, one-way non-return valves and the piping system along which the extracted water would flow to the surface drainage”, according to LTA.

Additionally, SMRT’s maintenance team may have not returned the pumps to the correct mode after maintenance done the previous year.

It was impossible to find out the exact cause of the incident as corrective measures were taken right after the flooding.

After the incident

LTA and SMRT has since then replaced all float switches, and also moved the pump control panel away from the tracks so that manual action can be taken immediately should there be a need.

SMRT has fired eight staff due to the incident.

It has the right to pursue legal action against two former executives. Three others have received disciplinary actions, according to TODAYonline.

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