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Big Blackout, Stalled Trains and Power Cut at Over 30 Stations, but SMRT is Improving

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Over 30 MRT stations had to rely on emergency lighting after power was cut.

Train services were disrupted on 3 MRT lines and 1 LRT line.

Not to mention blackouts in certain train carriages.

But at least, the gantries were working fine.

Yesterday evening’s Big Blackout started at 7.53pm, affecting:

-Buona Vista to Joo Koon stations on the East-West Line
-Jurong East to Kranji stations on the North-South Line
-Caldecott to HarbourFront stations on the Circle Line
-4 train carriages on the Bukit Panjang LRT line

The incident is the second service disruption the MRT network has faced, after Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan proudly announced 3 days ago a milestone achievement of 100 days without disruptions.

Yesterday, passengers complained on being smothered in darkness as power went out in train carriages and train stations.

While SMRT didn’t provide candlelight dinners, it did offer free bridging bus services and refunds for affected commuters.

Eventually, services on the North-South and East-West Lines resumed at 8.23pm while services on the Circle Line resumed at 8.48pm.

150 passengers were evacuated safely from the affected LRT train carriages, and the system resumed operation at 9.47pm.

SMRT says the Big Blackout was caused by a power trip at Buona Vista station.

It is investigating the cause of the power trip.

Despite the blackouts, stalled trains and power cuts, SMRT appears to be improving in terms of the smaller magnitude of its breakdowns.

At least, compared to the major North-South Line disruption back in July 2015, which has been described as the worst-ever breakdown in Singapore’s history involving SMRT trains.

57 stations were down, and an estimated 250,000 commuters were stuck in a bind.

Even after that ground-breaking incident, 92 percent of commuters declared their satisfaction with public transport in Singapore, so this latest incident is unlikely to make a dent in SMRT’s track record.

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