The Thomson-East Coast line suffered a signalling fault on the morning of Friday, 4 December 2020, with no services available on the entire line.
Signalling fault grounds Thomson-East Coast Line train services

There were no train services on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) on 4 December 2020, Friday morning due to a signalling fault. Rail operator SMRT said on its Twitter page at 05:43am that no services were available on the line, and that 'free buses and bridging buses are provided at these stations'.

Services at the three stations on the line typically begin from about 5:40am every morning. In an update at 07:23am, SMRT said train services between Woodlands North and Woodlands South stations remained down, and that the bus bridging services remained available.

 

"We apologise for the delay to your journey," SMRT added. Together with Woodlands station, the three stations fall under stage one of the TEL, which have been open since 31 January 2020.

In a Facebook post on Friday morning, SMRT said its engineers are working to rectify the fault, and added that in-train and station announcements were made to inform commuters of the disruption.


Friday morning's breakdown is the second to happen this year on a new MRT line. In October, a damaged power cable between Tuas Link and Tuas West Road stations on the East-West Line (EWL) led to a series of events that caused a major MRT disruption affecting three train lines - the EWL, North-South and Circle lines.

 

The two stations are part of a four-station extension to the EWL that opened in June 2017. In September, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said the completion of the six stations in the second stage of the TEL will be delayed by three months to the first quarter of 2021 due to the impact of COVID-19. They were initially scheduled to open in late 2020.

Since 30 July 2020, services between Woodlands North and Woodlands South stations have had early closures at 9:00pm daily and late openings at 06:30am on Saturdays and Sundays, for SMRT to 'continue testing of the integrated systems and trains in preparation for the opening of stage two' of the line. The early closures and late openings were slated to end on 30 August 2020, but have since been extended to 31 December 2020.