Lightning damaged disconnecting switch in power control box, disrupting June 3 train service: SMRT

SINGAPORE – The June 3 disruption on the North-South Line was caused by a lightning strike that damaged components in a power control box near Kranji MRT station and caused a power trip, said rail operator SMRT.

Providing an update on Facebook on June 4, SMRT said the damaged components included a disconnecting switch – a safety device that ensures that energy is not running through a circuit so that it will be safe to conduct emergency stoppages, repairs, maintenance or inspections.

As a safety precaution, train services were stopped in both directions between Kranji MRT station and Woodlands MRT station, allowing SMRT engineers to isolate the damaged switch and perform repairs safely, said SMRT.

The operator said a train driver activated an emergency switch to stop the train at Kranji immediately after noticing a small fire on the trackside equipment box about 20m from the station platform.

Had he not done so, the train could have stalled on the tracks and commuters might have needed to walk to the nearest station, SMRT said.

SMRT said the damaged switch, which was burnt, will be sent for further investigation and has since been replaced.

The power trip occurred at about 5.50pm on June 3 between Kranji and Marsiling stations, disrupting commutes along the northern stretch of the North-South line for more than two hours during peak traffic.

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