MRT Network’s New Reliability Standard and How Operators Fulfilling Expectation Gap

The public transportation system in Singapore is the backbone of the country.

The government and transport operators are working together to renew the oldest mass rapid transit (MRT) lines of the country. SMRT Corporation, a leading multi-modal transport operator and the service provider in the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL), has partnered with the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to renew the most heavily used NSEWL line at the cost of more than $2.5 billion in a multi-year programme. The renewal programme involves replacing the power supply system, track circuits, first-generation trains, rail sleepers, third rail, and signalling system. The renewal of the NSEWL lines has increased the rail reliability rate. The satisfactionrate with rail reliability among Singaporeans has improved from 7.8 to 7.9. People are happier with reliability, waiting times and comfort in the MRT network.

MRT Network’s New Reliability Standard
The multibillion-dollar renewal programme to renew the trains and system in the NSEWL lines have been effective in making public transport an increasingly attractive mode of transportation for people. The MRT network has become green, sustainable, and affordable. The upgrading of the North-South, East-West Lines will be completed in the next few years, while work to expand the rail network continues. The first phase of the Thomson-East Coast Line has already opened, while MRT operators are working with the government on the newly proposed lines, including Jurong Region Line, Circle Line extension, and the Cross Island Line.

How MRT Operators Fulfilling Expectation Gap
Commuters want smooth and comfortable journeys always. They judge the MRT network based on what’s happening the moment they are on the platform or boarded a train. There is a huge expectation among Singaporeans and operators are working hard to fulfil that gap. SMRT is the company that manages and operates the NSEWL lines. SMRT is renewing the 30-year old system to make it more reliable and safer for commuters. Here’s what SMRT has done so far to improve the rail reliability in the NSEWL lines:

• SMRT has renewed the signalling system to allow trains to run at shorter intervals.
• It has replaced the power rail system to prevent breakdowns.
• The company has replaced the old sleepers with concrete sleepers for smoother rides.
• SMRT has started a 24-hour Maintenance Operations Centre to identify and rectify faults faster.
• It is replacing 250km long power supply cables located along the NSEWL’s tracks.
• SMRT has introduced a network-wide predictive maintenance regime on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL).
• It has added new trains to replace the 2nd generation (Siemens) and 3rd generation (Kawasaki-Nippon Sharyo) trains currently in service on the NSEWL.

SMRT Chairman, Seah Moon Ming, commented on SMRT’s efforts to provide a reliable MRT system, “We remain committed to working with MOT and LTA as part of the One Transport Family to serve commuters well and maintain our MRT as among the most reliable systems in the world.”

SMRT Chairman further added, “Efforts are made at individual, system and company levels for continuous improvement in productivity, and to sustain the reliability and safety of our rail network. We will improve the efficacy and efficiency of our work processes, and do everything cost-effectively.”

Together with LTA, MRT operators like SMRT are strengthening the rail network to provide a safer travelling experience for all commuters. Once the renewal programme is completed in the NSEWL lines and more new lines are added to the MRT network, people will have a better-connected transport system that will be reliable, safer, sustainable, affordable, and efficient.

About the Author
Jiang Lee
Jiang is a technology director at a leading metro train manufacturing company in Germany. He has 25 years of experience in the transportation technology sector. In his free time, he loves to share his views on new technologies being used in the transport sector worldwide.

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