1. This afternoon, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) carried out a ground deployment exercise with SMRT to test their incident management plans in the event of a train service disruption. In total, about 135 personnel including representatives from the Singapore Police Force’s Transport Command (TransCom) and SBS Transit participated in the exercise. Train service continued as per normal and commuters were not affected by the exercise.
2. Codenamed ‘Exercise Greyhound’, the exercise went through the scenario of a broken rail on the East West Line at Buona Vista station. A westbound train heading towards Buona Vista station stalled 250m away. 600 passengers onboard the train were detrained and had to walk to the station. This affected train service at Clementi, Dover, Buona Vista, Commonwealth and Queenstown stations. Repair works was estimated to take about three hours, but this was later extended by another three hours before train service can resume. SMRT had also activated their Rail Incident Management Plan.
3. During the exercise, SMRT deployed their Customer Service Teams at the affected stations and activated the bus bridging plans. About 40 customer service officers were deployed to the five stations to help affected passengers. SMRT also activated ten buses to shuttle passengers between the stations.
4. LTA, as the exercise coordinator, assessed SMRT and SBST’s arrangement for free travel on existing public bus services, and the operation of bus shuttle services to provide transport service between the affected MRT stations. They were also tested on public communications, which included promptly informing the public of a service disruption and providing regular updates at the stations and through the media and social media channels such as twitter until normal service is resumed.
5. Mr Chew Hock Yong, LTA's Chief Executive, said: “Following the last tabletop exercises, LTA and the public transport operators have worked together to further improved emergency preparedness and incident management plans. Today’s exercise allowed us to test the plans and ensure coordinated response across the two public transport operators. We will assess the actions carried out today, and will share with both SMRT and SBST the learning points from the exercise.”
6. SMRT’s Executive Vice President (Trains) Mr Khoo Hean Siang said: “I am encouraged to see the close collaboration between SMRT staff and all the agencies who have to work closely in such crisis situations. These exercises allow us to fine-tune and validate our incident response plans against any contingencies. Moving forward, we want to also work with community partners to raise public awareness, so that everyone can be better prepared during emergencies.”