The management of the aforesaid transport service provider announced a thorough inspection of the affected lines on Saturday 17 Dec 2011, following the repeated breakdown on the NS-line (Wed 14/12, Thur 15/12 & Sat 17/12), and that the services were targeted to resume at approximately 1000hrs on Sunday 18 Dec 2011.
While we salute the long list of unsung heroes that toiled through the night to set things right, the efforts may have appeared fallen short of expectations, when the operations only resumed at or about 1100hrs.
Further to add, though said to be resumed, there were inevitably some destinations beyond access, due to further inspections & repairs ongoing that couldn’t quite make the deadline.
One thing we should understand is that the scale of the problem is not a plug & play matter that could be solved overnight, while the post inspection reports spotting a long list of “screws loose” & “missing claws” suggests that there may have been some critical lapses in the standing procedures of operational maintenance.
For the local press to claim that the train services to be fully resumed, is clearly an understatement, given that commuters would have experienced plenty of inconvenience, especially the forgotten percentile of people who depend on the train network to commute to their place of work on weekends. It was noted that a good number of people eventually showed up late for work yesterday.
Today, 19 Dec 2011, it was boasted once more on the local press that the services have fully resumed, safe for longer waiting time, and unforgivably slow travelling speeds.
As of 0900hrs, it is evident (via Facebook & Twitter) that many commuters are experiencing nauseating start–stop travels, while the crawling speed of approximately 40km/h doesn’t at all tally with the word “Rapid”, as the brand suggests.
Frustrations on & off the internet have also called for the resignation of the CEO, who has quite recently mentioned that she would stay put, in order to see that the matter is resolved.
Well, I find myself rather puzzled that the reports claim that the inspections conducted 10yrs ago find the railway fit for the next 50yrs. However, little or no mention of when the last time thorough inspections were conducted to certify the service worthiness of the entire system.
To my horror, 13 out of the 120 trains (10.833%) were withdrawn from service, after the overnight inspection, and found to be with faulty/missing show collectors.
It is not clear as to when or how soon can we expect the train services to resume normal efficacy, nor, how effectively can & will they improve on the service intervals, so as to cater to the enormous number of commuting capacity.
While many now, reconsider & reroute their daily passage to & from their work places. The festive shopping crowd has also shrunk and affected retailers as some other reports lamented. The annual wet weather this time of the year coupled with the crippled transportation has just ended 2011 with a ’24yr low’ (since the induction of the railway network since 1987).
Next up, we’d just have to wait & see how many complaints & cases are going to be filed with Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), and/or petitions from the public to appeal for public transportation fare reduction. Or, interestingly, how many will be suing the relevant parties for liability and/or opportunity costs lost.