Downtown Line delay due to signal fault: 'Train so crowded, I can't even lift up my hand to take photos for Stomp'

Submitted by Stomper Pasidah, BX, Alex, Ariel, Simon, Catherine, Nicky, Rashid

This story was submitted via Web contribution form.

This story was submitted via WhatsApp. Click here to join our WhatsApp group.

Commuters travelling on the Downtown Line (DTL) from Bukit Panjang towards Chinatown during the peak hour today (May 3) were delayed due to a signalling fault. 

Stomper Pasidah, BX, Alex, Ariel, Simon, Catherine, Nicky and Rashid were caught in the delay and wrote in to Stomp about their experience.

Alex, who was at Botanic Garden Station at 8.45am told Stomp that the train did not stop at the station, as the platform doors would not open. 

According to Alex, staff at the station told him that the fault started ar around 8.15am, and commuters who were at Botanic Gardens Station had to take the train back to Tan Kah Kee Station in order to board the train which was heading towards Chinatown.

He also managed to take a video of technicians working on a platform door at Botanic Gardens Station. 

Pasidah was at Bukit Panjang Station at around 8.50am, but said it was not crowded. 

Prior to that, her son had messaged her, telling her that there was a train delay on the DTL.

She added that the train normally takes about 2 mins to arrive and leaves quite fast, and there was no discernible delay today. 

However, the train today was packed, and there were more commuters than usual. 

When the train reached Botanic Gardens Station, it stopped for more than 5 mins and resumed travelling at a slow speed towards Stevens Station, before accelerating back to the normal pace after that. 

Pasidah said that she managed to reach Downtown Station at about 9.55am. 

Nicky boarded the train at Beauty World Station just before 8am.

He told Stomp that the trains were packed at every station and the train didn’t move for at least 5 mins, while station staff attempted to pack as many commuter as possible into the train. 

At around 8.30am, a message apologising to the commuters about the discomfort was played over the intercom, but was abruptly interrupted by another pre-recorded message.

Said Nicky:

“The message cut-off suddenly to play another pre-recorded message that they are trying to resolve the fault.

“Can’t they even apologise properly?!

“After that, the train jerked forward and a number of people fell. 

“When there's a known fault, shouldn't the company be more concerned about people's safety instead of trying to squeeze more people on board?”

Nicky also observed an elderly woman squatting and holding her head in her hands, as the train moved, in a jerky manner all the way until Botanic Gardens Station. 

When the train arrived at the station, the platform doors would not open:

“When they finally got the door to open, staff were still trying to pack people into the trains. 

“Shouldn’t they be more cautious?”

The aggravated commuter also noted that there was no mention of a signalling fault throughout his entire trip. 

Simon boarded the train at around 6.50am said his journey was delayed by almost half an hour and he had to explain to his boss why he was late.

He explained that the he would normally reach Stevens Station at about 7.20am, but today, it was already 8am before he reached his destination. 

Said Simon:

“The train stopped at literally every station for around 3 to 5 minutes on the way to Stevens.

“After announcing that the train would proceed slowly from Tan Kah Kee Station, it suddenly sped up, and along the way it made three emergency brakes!

“To top off the ridiculous situation, they were still announcing that the train would proceed slower than usual towards Botanic Gardens. 

“I don’t understand why it has to slow down at all.

“The track is underground and not exposed to the rain and elements, and the system is new as well.

“What’s happening?!”

Simon also said that when he alighted at Stevens, he approached the customer service officers to lodge a complain, but was infuriated when they could not give him an acceptable answer:

“It told me half an hour, the entire process, and by the end of it, they just told me to fill up a customer complaint form.”

Rashid who was caught in the train delay too told Stomp:

“Can’t even lift my camera up to take pics.

“It’s super crowded.”