Crack found on track near Changi Airport MRT station; slower service expected till Jan 21

SINGAPORE - Commuters taking the train to and from Changi Airport MRT station should expect additional travel time of less than five minutes, after a crack was found on the track near the station.

Rail operator SMRT told The Straits Times on Thursday (Jan 16) that it found a crack in the crossing near the MRT station during engineering hours on Monday.

The crossing is where two tracks intersect. SMRT did not disclose the size of the crack.

Its chief communications officer Margaret Teo said the repair work is complex and will be completed by next Tuesday.

"All trains are diverted to one platform to avoid the affected section. As a precautionary measure, trains are travelling at a slower speed near the stretch.

"We seek commuters' understanding and patience," she added.

Assistant marketing manager Kelvin Choo, 36, who takes the train to Changi Airport after work, said he has experienced the delay.

"The train slows down and starts intermittently when it enters the curved section of the track heading towards Changi Airport," said the Sembawang resident who works in Changi Business Park.

Mr Choo catches a bus at Changi Airport which takes him directly to Sembawang, where he picks up his two-year-old son from pre-school before going home together.

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"I used to be able to reach Sembawang at 6.15pm, but because of the lengthier journey, I can now only reach at 6.30pm, as I cannot catch the earlier bus."

The Land Transport Authority said earlier this month that SMRT carries out inspection of rail conditions using both a vehicle and foot patrols.

It added that individual rail segments are replaced when there are defects or excessive wear and tear.

In a separate case earlier this month, a platform along the Punggol East LRT system was shut down three hours earlier than scheduled for urgent maintenance works after a crack was spotted on the track.

Although there were no safety concerns, rail operator SBS Transit said then that if left unrectified, the crack may develop further, which can result in train services being disrupted.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.