“No lights, no air-con. Not moving,” said one commuter who was on board a SMRT train which stalled towards Buona Vista MRT station.

“Oh no. Not again”.

A massive service disruption hit both the North-South and East-West MRT lines for about three hours yesterday.

As the incident happened during the rush hour when people were getting home, bus services were inevitably full and taxi’s were mostly unavailable. Many had to wait  at sidewalks and bus stops for their ride.

In 2011, Singapore experienced one of its worst train disruptions in its history. A Committee of Inquiry (COI) was subsequently launched to find out the reasons behind the train faults.

Since than, there have been major improvements to the train services.

There were greater frequency of trains, better staff working to maintain the trains and even better signage to communicate if a train is running late. There was even complimentary bus services on 24hr standby to assist the commuters in case they got stranded. (Source: LTA)

Machines being machines, they are bound to break down at one point of time or another.

As the lights in the train went out yesterday and your Facebook feed starts to be flooded  with images of the ‘chaos’ on the ground, Singaporeans were quick to exclaim “Not again!”.

Despite all the complaints, there was something slightly different about the way Singaporeans reacted to the incident.

Smiles

Singaporeans are taking it in their stride and realise that it is just not worth getting terribly upset over a faulty train. It happens. Life moves on. Nobody wants to hear you whining about it again and again..

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Understandably many Muslims could not reach home in time to break their fast. They took it in their stride and dig into their food with a smile.

Steady la!

Empathy

Singaporeans understand that the authorities are trying their best to fix the situation and get everyone home safely. SMRT staff were activated at a moment’s notice to rectify the faults. No one’s complaining. We do it because we want Singaporeans to get home safely. Singaporeans understand that our trains break down from time to time. Its just the way life is – no need to be melodramatic about it and start cussing – especially to the staff who are obviously trying their best.

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Graciousness

Putting aside the free bus rides offered by SMRT (because they promised to keep everyone moving.. kidding), Singaporeans were reported to offer rides to stranded commuters while others gave out food and drinks to station staff. These kind gestures helped to take the edge off the tension and frustration of the whole incident.

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(Pic from CNA)

It is just like what Mothership had reported in their article “How the worst train breakdown in Singapore’s history turned into something magical”

Strangers were jumped pack against one another like sardines in an unfortunate turn of event, instead of shoving and jostling, Singaporeans were smiling at each other and shrugging their shoulders.  The cheekier ones even took the opportunity to exchange numbers and get to know one another better.

It may be the same train disruption to the one in 2011, but Singaporeans have come a long way since and have shown that they have adapted well to the situation.