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Train services between Joo Koon and Tuas West extension will be suspended for up to a month

[SINGAPORE] Service on the Tuas West Extension line will be suspended until next Monday (Nov 20) as investigations continue into Wednesday's train collision at Joo Koon Station.

But the Tuas West Extension, comprising Gul Circle, Tuas Crescent, Tuas West Road and Tuas Link stations, will be separated from the rest of the East-West Line for up to a month, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Thursday.

This means trains will not travel between Joo Koon and Gul Circle stations. Instead, bus bridging services will be provided for affected passengers.

LTA said that the whole-day suspension of the Tuas West Extension on Thursday, a day after the accident, had been very useful for Thales, the French company providing the new signalling system.

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Based on these checks, Thales confirmed that the new system on the Tuas extension and old system on the East-West Line are respectively safe for operation.

Wednesday's collision occured because of a software problem which resulted when the faulty train was transitioning between the two signalling systems. "Given this finding, the Land Transport Authority and (train operator) SMRT have decided to isolate for up to one month the operations of the Tuas West Extension, which runs on the new signalling system, from the rest of the East-West Line, which runs on the old signalling system. This will enable our engineers to carry out further assurance checks together with Thales." Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Mr Khaw Boon Wan said: "Although Thales is confident, I am disturbed by the finding that a critical safety software could be disabled by a defective trackside device. Until this concern is fully addressed, we should not resume the link between Tuas West Extension and the rest of the East-West Line. "I have told the team to keep separating the two sections of EWL, if need be until the entire EWL is ready to run on the new signalling system. This way we avoid having trains transiting from one signalling system to another with its attendant safety risk." Meanwhile LTA said that "as we need some time to prepare our commuters and our staff for this arrangement, the suspension of Tuas West Extension will continue till Sunday".

THE STRAITS TIMES

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