I’m certain many of us have been joking about it. With all the frequent MRT breakdowns, problems are just the new normal. The day the MRT actually works, that will be big news. Indeed, that day has come, with our Straits Times declaring “Circle Line glitch-free since Friday evening“. The trains actually worked. Finally.
Today, before reading about this news, I rode the Circle Line with trepidation. I actually had planned to ride on the Circle Line on Friday evening, but decided to plan my journey around it. Perhaps it was for the better anyway, since they shutdown mobile phone communications on part of the line that evening.
For the prior four days, SMRT engineers were said to have suspected a communications interference that disrupted the train to station signalling system. The trains are designed to apply emergency brakes when it loses communications. Try as they might, they must have run out of ideas to make the really bold suggestion to shutdown mobile phone communications. That’s right, no 3G, no 4G, no voice calls, no SMS, no data. No way to complain about SMRT while you’re stuck on the train.
As it turned out, SMRT found nothing from the shutdown. They still don’t know what caused the signalling disruption, and they could not find the source of the suspected communications interference.
In other words, SMRT did nothing, and the problem self-resolved.
To put it another way, the problem might perhaps return, because nothing had been fixed.
Let’s cheer our Transport Minister on as he counts day 3 of disruption-free train service on the Circle Line. Hip hip hooray.