Over 2 Hours of Train Disruption Due to Lightning Strike

On June 3rd, 2024, commuters on Singapore’s North-South Line experienced significant disruptions due to a power trip caused by a lightning strike. 

This incident halted train services between Choa Chu Kang and Woodlands MRT stations for more than two hours, during the evening peak-hour commute, affecting thousands of passengers. 

Incident Overview

The disruption began at around 5:50 PM when a lightning strike caused a traction power fault on the North-South Line. 

According to transport operator SMRT, the lightning strike resulted in a power trip, leading to a small fire in a power control box situated approximately 20 metres from the Kranji station platform. 

Preliminary investigations indicated that the fire had burned itself out by the time the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) arrived on the scene. 

Fortunately, no injuries were reported.

Response and Mitigation

In response to the power trip, SMRT promptly initiated alternative transport arrangements for affected commuters. 

Free regular bus and bridging bus services were provided between Choa Chu Kang and Woodlands MRT stations to mitigate the inconvenience caused by the disruption. 

Additionally, commuters were advised to consider alternative travel routes on the Thomson-East Coast Line and Circle Line.

SMRT made regular announcements in trains and stations to keep commuters informed about the situation. 

Engineers and staff worked diligently to restore normal train services, with operations gradually resuming from 7:55 PM onwards. By 8:32 PM, all train services had returned to normal, and the free bus services had ceased.


Commuter Experience

The disruption led to significant congestion at several MRT stations, particularly Marsiling and Yew Tee, as passengers disembarked and sought alternative transport. 

Social media posts from affected commuters showed crowded platforms and long queues for the free bus services. The heavy rain during the incident exacerbated the situation, making it difficult for passengers to board buses.

Madam Norazlin Omar, a legal secretary, recounted her experience at Kranji station, where passengers were initially informed that the delay was due to a passenger pressing the emergency button. 

She expressed frustration over the lack of clear communication and direction from staff, which led many passengers to seek alternative transport at the bus stop. 

“The bus stop was so overcrowded. People started to push one another just to board the bus. To make it worse, it was raining heavily,” she said.

Broader Implications

This incident underscores the susceptibility of Singapore’s transport infrastructure to natural events such as lightning strikes. Singapore, known as one of the world’s lightning capitals, experiences frequent lightning incidents. 

In January, three workers were hospitalised after a lightning strike near a Build-To-Order block in Bartley. 

Past incidents in 2016 and 2017 also saw lightning strikes causing delays by hitting trains or trackside equipment.

The event highlights the necessity for continued investment in infrastructure resilience and the implementation of robust emergency response mechanisms to ensure the safety and reliability of public transportation. 

While SMRT’s quick response and provision of alternative transport options were commendable, the incident also emphasised the need for clear communication and efficient coordination during such emergencies.

Have a story to share? 

Accidents occur frequently, but as responsible road users, we can collectively contribute to reducing their frequency. 

If you or someone you know has a video or story to share, please do not hesitate to email us at writer@roads.sg 

Together, we can all contribute to creating safer roads for everyone. 


Get comprehensive cover at a lower price today! Receive up to S$400 worth of petrol vouchers with AIG. T&Cs apply. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.

Get a quote now! www.aig.sg/roads

Be part of our team of contributors! You can submit your videos via the following ways:
1. Whatsapp to 96667153
2. Telegram
3. Facebook groups
How do you feel about this?
You have reacted on "Over 2 Hours of Train Disruption Due to Lightni..." A few seconds ago