News of this development has surfaced a term which bus enthusiasts may already know. It’s called Interlining, which is the practice of having bus captains drive multiple routes. Interlining requires the driver to know the road network, road conditions and bus passenger travel patterns that are peculiar to each route he or she is assigned to drive. For instance, a route that includes schools may see a surge in passengers at various times of the day when students end their classes.
Mr Tan Kian Heong, Managing Director SMRT Buses and Road Services, explained why SMRT is stepping in to help another public transport operator, “SMRT Buses will support Go-Ahead Singapore to ensure that commuter journeys are not affected. Ten SMRT bus captains will be attached to Go-Ahead for two months to help with their current staffing needs.
Mr Tan also shed light on what interlining entails, “Interlining is often used to achieve an efficient scheduling solution. However, SMRT Buses is selective when applying interlining into our schedule because an excessively interlined arrangement would require bus captains to be familiar with multiple routes, which is more demanding than driving a single route. It may also have an impact on their work-rest cycle. For our interlined services, SMRT Buses will ensure that all bus captains receive route familiarisation training and cater for sufficient rest so that they can carry out their duties well. The welfare of our bus captains is important to us in maintaining high service standards.”
In October 2015, SMRT released the inaugural edition of Your Journey Matters, outlining SMRT’s rail transformation efforts. Almost a year later, we have published Your Journey Matters – Edition 2, which continues the story of SMRT’s ongoing efforts to improve and renew the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) – Singapore’s oldest, longest and most heavily used MRT lines.
The multi-year, multi-project efforts described in Your Journey Matters underline SMRT’s commitment to serve you better. In this new edition, we also bring you updates on the ongoing station upgrades to escalators and platform screen doors, as well as a look into how the air-conditioning is maintained on our trains.
The transformation of the NSEWL is a complex set of engineering projects. It represents the first major upgrade for the lines since they started operations in 1987. Indeed, the renewal of the NSEWL is said to be the biggest modernisation project on a “live” MRT system anywhere in the world.
This modernisation effort will lead to an updated and renewed railway system that will allow SMRT to run more trains, carry more passengers and serve our passengers better with faster connections across the MRT network. The multi-year, multi-project effort takes place seven days a week, all-year round. Much of the work takes place away from the public eye in train depots, deep underground in train tunnels or during the early hours of the morning when trains have stopped running. Progress is made every day to modernise the NSEWL to serve you better.
With just three hours every night for engineering staff to access the track when trains are not running, it is vital for SMRT to prioritise and allocate the engineering hours and resources properly across different projects. Since 5 June 2016, the implementation of later train service start times on Sundays for 13 stations along the East West Line have given the engineering team much needed additional time to work each night. These extra hours are maximised for urgent maintenance and repair tasks as well as upgrade and renewal projects.
With more trains due to be added to the NSL and EWL, existing power cables have to be replaced with larger capacity cables to accommodate the increase in power demand. SMRT is working with LTA to address the rail network’s future power needs.
A number of measures are being implemented to minimise inconvenience to MRT passengers due to power-related faults. These measures tie in with recommendations made by the Independent Advisory Panel, approved by LTA, on rectification measures to improve the rail power supply system.
These measures include renewing power components that are nearing the end-of-life stage on the 30-year old network with completely new components, increasing the power capacity of the network and thirdly, improving the design of the power network.
In order to improve the design of the power network, Voltage Limiting Devices will replace the existing 64P Earth Fault Relay. Works will be done on the 750V DC Switchgear & DC Cables, Direct Current Group (Rectifiers and Inverter) and High Voltage Group (AC Switchgear & HV cables) in order to renew, upgrade and increase the power capacity.
This is part of a series on SMRT’s rail improvement efforts. Read more:
SMRT- Track Improvements
SMRT- Airconditioning Improvements
SMRT- Platform Screen Door Maintenance
SMRT- Escalator Maintenance
The third rail supplies electrical power to the trains operating on the rail line. It is elevated and runs parallel to the rest of the track. A part of the train known as the Current Collection Device (CCD) is in constant contact with the third rail through a component called the CCD shoe. If you imagine the third rail to be similar to the wall socket at home, the CCD is the plug. However, in the context of a train, the “plug” is sliding along a very long “socket”. As such, the alignment of the elevated third rail has to be very precise in order to power the trains at all times.
The Linear Variable Displacement Transducer (LVDT) helps monitor the alignment of the third rail. The LVDT measures the movement of the CCD shoe and through this data, the system can chart the precise height of every inch of the third rail.
Engineers compare the latest graphs with earlier ones to identify locations where the height of the third rail was recorded as too low, or where the height has changed too much from the last measurement. With this info, the Permanent Way maintenance team can quickly zoom in, inspect and rectify any potential Third Rail faults relating to misalignment.
With the LVDT technology, the frequency of third rail inspection is increased and real time detection is possible, even during service hours. The degradation trend of the third rail can also be tracked.
The LVDT is the first of a few other condition monitoring devices we will be sharing on this blog. Check back again soon to find out more about the technologies we use to make maintenance of the track as efficient as possible.