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    Sep 29, 2016

    Faulty rail halts Bukit Panjang LRT

    THE troubled Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT) line faced yet another setback yesterday as train services were suspended between interchange stations for almost five hours, causing inconvenience for thousands of commuters.

    The culprit was a signal rail joint near the Choa Chu Kang station, which was damaged on Tuesday evening.

    This caused the current collector devices - which serve to transfer power and signals from the tracks to the trains - on several train cars to dislodge as they moved over the damaged joint.

    As a result, services were halted both on Tuesday night and yesterday between the Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang stations, both of which connect to MRT lines.

    SMRT said engineering staff worked through the night to correct the problem.

    But while services had resumed by 6.40am, a track fault near Choa Chu Kang station caused a power trip on the line at about 10.20am, said SMRT, resulting in train services being stopped again between Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang stations.

    Services for the entire 7.8km LRT line, which serves more than 60,000 commuters daily, were suspended between noon and 1.20pm for inspections and assessments by engineers.

    Subsequently, service for the eight stations between Bukit Panjang and Petir resumed at 1.20pm. Service B, which travels between the Petir and Choa Chu Kang stations, resumed at 5.45pm.

    Shuttle services between stations and regular bus services were free for the duration of the disruptions. Travel on the LRT line was also free until the end of service at about 1am.

    SMRT Trains managing director Lee Ling Wee apologised for the inconvenience to commuters. "BPLRT trains will be partially manned as a contingency until the end of service today," he added.

    The Bukit Panjang line has been beset with problems since it began operating in 1999, most recently in July, when a faulty antenna caused a train to fail to stop at three stations.