I Dropped Something Onto The MRT Tracks! – What To Do If This Happens To You?

"Please mind the platform gap" - The gap between the MRT train and the MRT station platform

There have been quite a few instances in the local news where a commuter’s incorrect actions to retrieve their personal belongings which have dropped onto the train tracks, have resulted in a delay and/or disruption in train services.

Let’s be aware of both incorrect and correct examples to retrieve personal belongings which have dropped onto the tracks, should it happen to you.


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What Should You Not Do?

These are some incorrect examples, as it causes a delay or a disruption in train services.

1) Don’t activate the Emergency Stop Plunger

Emergency Stop Plunger (ESP) at Marina Bay MRT station.

Emergency Stop Plunger (ESP) at Marina Bay MRT station.

A 48-year-old man has pleaded guilty to causing a public nuisance at Buona Vista MRT station on the East-West Line (EWL) on 29 Feb 2020, where he had activated the Emergency Stop Plunger (ESP) on the train platform to retrieve his mobile phone.

By activating the ESP on the train platform, trains at the platform would not be able to depart and trains approaching the station would not be able to continue its arrival.

2) Don’t climb over the Platform Screen Doors

Half-height Platform Screen Doors (HHPSD) at Jurong East MRT station.

Half-height Platform Screen Doors (HHPSD) at Jurong East MRT station.

A 57-year-old man has been arrested at Jurong East MRT station, for climbing over the Platform Screen Doors (PSD) at the North-South Line (NSL) platform to retrieve his mobile phone on 6 July 2021.

The train captain on an approaching train had to activate the emergency brakes, which had then caused a slight delay in train services and would have caused discomfort for passengers on board due to the sudden stopping.


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What Should You Do?

The concourse for the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) side of Caldecott MRT station

The concourse for the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) side of Caldecott MRT station

You should inform the MRT staff at the Passenger Service Centre located at the concourse level, near the faregates.

1) Do be patient to get your belongings back

According to an article by Mothership.SG in 2017, where a commuter had dropped their brand new mobile phone onto the tracks at Dhoby Ghaut MRT station, SMRT mentioned that they could only retrieve the mobile phone after track maintenance had completed for the day.

The commuter could only retrieve their mobile phone the following day, and the SMRT staff advised him to be more careful next time, as it was quite common for passengers to drop their phones into the tracks.

2) Do be specific to help the staff retrieving it

According to an article by AsiaOne in 2020, where the writer had dropped their mobile phone in the gap between the train and the platform, SBS Transit’s senior vice president for corporate communications Tammy Tan mentioned that affected commuters should take note of key points that can allow staff to find and retrieve the items easier.

“Passengers should report it to the station’s passenger service centre with details of where they had dropped their items, the train’s direction of travel and the platform screen door number,” Ms Tan advised.


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Trains Fitted with Platform Gap Width Reduction Feature

Platform Gap Width Reduction feature on a Bombardier MOVIA C951 train.

Platform Gap Width Reduction feature on a Bombardier MOVIA C951 train.

Newer trains like the second-generation Alstom Metropolis C830C trains for the Circle Line (CCL) and the Bombardier MOVIA C951 trains for the Downtown Line (DTL) are fitted with this feature.

Not only does this reduce the likelihood of commuters dropping their personal belongings onto the tracks through the platform gap, this feature also aims to prevent passenger accidents from happening.


Related Links
Travelling on the network – SGTrains
During a train disruption – SGTrains
Platform Screen Doors – SGTrains
North-South Line – SGTrains
East-West Line – SGTrains
Circle Line – SGTrains
Downtown Line – SGTrains
Alstom Metropolis C830C – SGTrains
Bombardier MOVIA C951 – SGTrains

External Links
Man admits to stopping MRT train in attempt to retrieve phone that fell onto tracks – The Straits Times [Accessed 09 Jul 2021]
Man arrested after climbing over screen door onto track at Jurong East MRT to retrieve phone – The Straits Times [Accessed 09 Jul 2021]
S’porean drops brand new S$1,888 iPhone X onto MRT track hours after getting it – Mothership.SG [Accessed 09 Jul 2021]
S’porean who dropped brand new iPhone X into MRT train tracks gets it back unharmed – Mothership.SG [Accessed 09 Jul 2021]
I dropped my phone and slippers onto the MRT tracks. Here’s what to do if it happens to you – AsiaOne [Accessed 09 Jul 2021]
Safety and Security – SMRT Trains [Accessed 09 Jul 2021]


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Loh

I'm a train enthusiast who is broadly interested in the different means of technology which powers Singapore's train network.