Breakdown disrupts NEL for 1.5 hours on Thursday, rescue train used to pull defective one out

Submitted by Stomper Shahina

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A train broke down at Clarke Quay station towards Punggol on Thursday evening (Nov 16), affecting train service at five stations on the North East Line (NEL). 

Service at stations between Outram Park and  Farrer Park was affected for about 1.5 hours, and a rescue train was used to push the defective train out.

Stomper Shahina was at little India station at about 7pm, heading to Hougang. 

She had previously boarded a train on the Downtown Line (DTL) and alighted to switch to the NEL at Little India station. 

However, as she approached the platform, she realised that she would be unable to board the train as a crowd forming due to the disruption of service. 

She took some videos and photos which she sent to Stomp.

Said Shahina:

"Even if I queued for the train, I think it would have taken another 40 minutes or more. 

“The bus stops outside were also packed.

“I wouldn’t even get onto any of the bridging bus services so I took a cab in the end.”

Many netizens also took to social media to express their concerns.

Tweeted Chace Foo:

"Looks like #NEL has some problem with trains today? Harbourfront station is jammed."

In a statement by SBS Transit, it said:

“The push-out was completed at about 7.50pm and service progressively returned to normal.

“We apologise to affected commuters for the inconvenience caused. Meanwhile, we are investigating the cause of the fault.”

At 6.20pm yesterday, the operator had sent out an alert to the public, advising commuters to add 10 minutes to their travel time.

Twelve minutes later, it tweeted another announcement, extending the additional time to 15 minutes.

At 6.42pm, it announced that there would be free bridging services at designated bus stops between Outram Park and Farrer Park stations. 

By 7.45pm. an announcement was made by SBS, indicating that the push-out had been completed, and normal service would resume soon. 

In an update at 8.36pm on their Facebook page, the SBS wrote:

"Train service has resumed since 7.53pm.

"Free bus rides and bridging bus services have ceased.

"Once again, we are sorry."

According to The Straits Times, a 12-car push-out such as this involves another six-car train which is used to push the crippled six-car train out of the way. 

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