Track maintenance accident disrupts East West Line services

A track-side accident during maintenance disrupted train services along the East West Line in the morning of 12 December 2018. Train services between EW27 Boon Lay and EW30 Gul Circle were unavailable until 0625hrs, and free passing by and bridging bus services were available at affected stations. Regular train service has resumed.

SMRT and LTA released notifications through Twitter and MyTransport at approximately 0507hrs, informing commuters of the disruption. Train services resumed at 0625hrs, delaying the first train from Boon Lay towards Tuas Link, and Gul Circle towards Pasir Ris, for almost an hour.

According to a comment on Reddit, a Permanent Way Staff fell to the track from a locomotive, whose leg had to be amputated. Trains were unable to launch from Tuas Depot as a result. We wish the affected staff a speedy recovery.

What Happened?

Full Statement by SMRT Corporation published on 21 December 2018

An accident occurred on the eastbound track near Joo Koon MRT station, early Wednesday morning (12 Dec’18) before service hours. This happened when a six-member maintenance team was preparing the maintenance train to return to the depot after completing track tamping work(1).

The team was conducting a brake test on the maintenance train that comprises one locomotive(2) on each side of a track tamping machine. The brake test is a necessary procedure to ensure that the locomotives and the track tamping machine are properly coupled and that the brakes are functioning before moving back to the depot. This test involves limited movement of the maintenance train.

Meanwhile, one of the staff was on the track to inspect for oil leaks from the maintenance train. An oil spill on the track affects the safety of train operations in the day.

The brake test was stopped immediately when one of the team members spotted the injured staff lying on the track. The rest of the team went forward to provide first aid to the injured staff whose right foot had been rolled over by the maintenance train. SCDF was activated and the injured staff was sent to the hospital where the lower part of his right leg was amputated. The injured staff is currently in a stable condition.

SMRT takes a serious view of this workplace accident. We are assisting the Ministry of Manpower’s Occupational Safety and Health Division in their investigation.

(1) Track tamping is to ensure that the train tracks have a firm foundation to rest on.
(2) Locomotives are the prime engines to pull the whole maintenance train.


Earlier on October 8, grease found on tracks disrupted North South Line train services between Sembawang and Ang Mo Kio in the early morning as well.


Affected stations


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