SINGAPORE — Nov. 15, 2017: Preliminary findings have shown that a train was run inadvertently without a software protection feature, resulting in a collision at the Joo Koon station of the East West Line this morning.
In its latest update, the Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) said the findings were that the first train departed Ulu Pandan Depot with the software protection feature, but the feature was inadvertently removed when the first train passed by a faulty signalling circuit.
This train then arrived at Joo Koon station without the feature. The removal of this feature resulted in the first train giving off a train profile on the new signalling system of a three-car train, instead of a six-car train.
As a result, the second train detected the first train as a three-car train and misjudged the distance between the two trains, resulting in the collision.
LTA noted that Thales, the supplier of the signalling system, had confirmed the old and new signalling systems continued to be safe for operation.
The East-West Line is currently running on the old signalling system from Pasir Ris to Pioneer, and the new signalling system from Joo Koon to Tuas Link.
As a precautionary measure, trains would go through an additional layer of control measures and manual checks before they are deployed.
“Operations from Joo Koon to Tuas Link will also be suspended tomorrow while we conduct assurance checks with Thales. Bus bridging will be deployed for the affected stretch for the duration of the suspension,” said LTA.
The collision involving two trains today was the second such incident in Singapore MRT’s 30-year history, Channel News Asia reported.
The first was on August 5, 1993, six years after the MRT system started.
It involved a front-to-back collision between two trains at Clementi station and resulted in 156 injured commuters.
The collision was due to an east-bound train from Jurong stopping at Clementi MRT station for two minutes longer than scheduled due to a technical fault. — Bernama