Another rail crack causes delays on Singapore’s North-South Line

By Christopher Tan | Source: News Straits Times
South-bound Mass Rapid Transit rail services in Singapore were delayed during the morning peak period yesterday by a rail crack – the third such damage in five weeks.

SMRT said the crack was discovered between the Yio Chu Kang and Ang Mo Kio stations at 6:25am.

Journey times were up to 40 minutes longer.

But after G-clamps were put in place to stabilise the affected area, trains could move faster and journey times improved.

By the evening peak period, train services were largely back to normal, an on-site check by The Straits Times revealed.

SMRT said an inspection of the cracked section during off-peak hours in the afternoon revealed nothing conclusive.

It said it would replace the damaged section after service hours last night. It will also hold a technical meeting this morning to get to the bottom of the matter.

Rail cracks have been rare in the Singapore network until recently. Before the recent three incidents, there was an average of only one crack per year.

While the last two cracks occurred at welded joints, yesterday’s fracture did not. All, however, were on the North-South Line.

An SMRT spokesman said the latest crack was in a section that appeared worn but was still within operating tolerance.

It will be inspected more closely when it is replaced.

Rail cracks came into focus after a derailment on a US commuter train line in Connecticut on May 17 that injured more than 70 people.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that US federal officials had narrowed the cause of the incident down to a cracked rail joint.