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LTA: Software issue, faulty insulator led to train disruptions on NSL, NEL

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·2-min read
Monday (29 March) morning's train service delay along NSL was caused by a signalling fault between Newton and City Hall stations, while Sunday's disruption was caused by a power fault at Buangkok station, said LTA. (Yahoo News Singapore file photos)
Monday (29 March) morning's train service delay along NSL was caused by a signalling fault between Newton and City Hall stations, while Sunday's disruption was caused by a power fault at Buangkok station, said LTA. (Yahoo News Singapore file photos)

SINGAPORE — A software issue and faulty insulator were behind the train service disruptions on Monday (29 March) and Sunday, respectively, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

A signalling fault along the North-South Line (NSL) between Newton and City Hall MRT stations led to commuters experiencing delays of around 45 minutes, while a power fault at Buangkok MRT station led to a three-hour service disruption along the North East Line (NEL) on Sunday morning, said LTA in a news release.

The NSL fault led to trains being driven manually at a slower speed along the affected stretch, while free bus bridging services were also provided to commuters. LTA said that preliminary investigations showed that it was a software issue with the signalling system that led to the disruption.

"As a precaution to rectify the fault, SMRT and Thales engineers rebooted the system after morning peak hour service. It is now working normally and train services have resumed," said the authority. It added that SMRT and Thales, the French multinational company that supplied the NSL's signalling system, will look into the root cause of the incident.

Meanwhile, Sunday's incident along the NEL was due to a power fault at the Overhead Catenary System (OCS) – which supplies power to the trains – at Buangkok station, which was caused by a faulty insulator. LTA noted that trained service was resumed within three hours and has "since been running smoothly". It added that the affected insulator has also been replaced.

The authority said there is an ongoing programme to replace the insulators with a better designed version and that it is working with SBS Transit to accelerate the replacement of the remaining insulations by June.

"To have two incidents over two days is very unfortunate and frustrating. They occurred over two separate lines, each for different reasons. We apologise for the inconveniences caused," said LTA in the release.

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