Third Rail Replacement of the North-South East-West Line

Improving the North-South and East-West Lines

SMRT is making good progress in its multi-year, multi-project efforts to renew the NSEWL. This marks the biggest transformation of the Lines since they were built in the 1980s.

Read more

Re-signalling of the North-South East-West Lines

Improving the North-South and East-West Lines

SMRT is making good progress in its multi-year, multi-project efforts to renew the NSEWL. This marks the biggest transformation of the Lines since they were built in the 1980s.

Read more

Sleeper Replacement on the North-South East-West Lines

Improving the North-South and East-West Lines

SMRT is making good progress in its multi-year, multi-project efforts to renew the NSEWL. This marks the biggest transformation of the Lines since they were built in the 1980s.

Read more

Your Journey Matters – An Introduction

A tremendous amount of work is being done to renew and upgrade the North-South and East-West Line (NSEWL), Singapore’s oldest, longest and most heavily utilised MRT line. The work takes place every day even as the rail network continues to serve passengers for around 20 hours a day and as the system copes with increased ridership.

SMRT progress chartThe transformation of the NSEWL is a complex engineering project. It represents the first major upgrade for the line since it 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.

SMRT Rail Renewal Projects

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 stop 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 available and resources properly across different projects. Our engineers and contractors maximise the time spent on the track so that attention can be given to the more urgent maintenance and repair tasks as well as to the upgrade and renewal projects.

SMRT Resleepering

Much progress has been made over the past three years, thanks to significant and sustained efforts to improve train service reliability to serve our commuters better.

Improvements can be seen from charts showing key performance indicators like NSEWL train withdrawal and delays of more than five minutes.

our Journey Matters - Train withdrawal rate and Service delays per 100,000km under 5 mins

Our engineering staff achieved these improvements through a number of reliability improvements and modifications on our trains. These include upgrading the propulsion software on KNS trains, the replacement of power supply units on KHI trains and improvements to the signalling system to reduce power and signalling faults.

Efforts to refurbish ageing components on older trains are now underway. SMRT also plans to conduct a mid-life upgrade on its fleet of Siemens trains, which have logged a higher number of train faults compared to other train models.

More can certainly be done. The rise in service disruptions of more than 30 minutes since 2012 is closely monitored. We will bring down this figure as we strive towards higher rail reliability.

 

Related posts

Improvements on the North-South East-West Lines: Sleeper Replacement

Improvements on the North-South East-West Lines: Re-signalling

Improvements on the North-South East-West Lines: Upgrading older trains

SMRT and building Singapore’s future Rail Workforce

On 9 November, Senior Minister of State for Transport, Josephine Teo announced the $12.5 million Public Transport Manpower Development Fund that LTA will invest in to develop talent in the public transport industry. The Public Transport Manpower Development Fund will be used for initiatives spearheaded by LTA, WDA and public transport operators, like SMRT.

This is especially important for SMRT. President and Group CEO Desmond Kuek said, “People are at the centre of everything that makes the rail network run efficiently, effectively. And we’re determined to try and bring in and retain all the high quality workforce that is needed to keep rail reliability at its highest level.”

SMRT has played a crucial role in developing initiatives to nurture both current and future rail professionals. A Part-Time Diploma in Engineering Systems for Rapid Transit Technology was developed with Singapore Polytechnic for staff who wish to upskill themselves in the rapid transit industry with more knowledge and practical skills about the various areas of rail operations and maintenance. Currently, five of our own staff have enrolled in this part-time programme.

SingaporePoly

Credit: Singapore Polytechnic

For early and mid-career engineers, the comprehensive STEP-IN and STEP-UP schemes were created. STEP is essentially about providing our rail engineers with professional development and accreditation. It anchors on the professional development of engineers through the acquisition of necessary competencies in three areas: Values, Leadership, and Functional Skills.

Fresh graduates from Singapore Polytechnic and the Institute of Technical Education will be able to participate in Earn & Learn programmes which will give from them a head-start in their careers.

SGInstituteofTech

Credit: Singapore Institute of Technology

At the Degree level, SMRT supports the Singapore Institute of Technology’s new Sustainable Infrastructure Engineering programme by taking in 15 students for a 12-month integrated work-study arrangement.

These initiatives will help to continue building a sustainable workforce to support the growing network. Over the last 3 years, we have grown our Trains technical workforce by 21%.  From a base number of 191 engineers, we intend to more than double the numbers within the next two years.  We are making good progress, and already have a strength of 328, or more than 70%. There is strong interest from new graduates and retention has been excellent because the work is meaningful and exciting.

SMRT Maintenance Operations Centre – Improving Rail Reliability

The new SMRT Maintenance Operations Centre (MOC) is located at Bishan Depot and plays a crucial role in improving rail reliability on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL). Built to complement the Operations Control Centre, which controls trains operations from SMRT’s HQ at North Bridge Road, the MOC is a great capability boost for SMRT’s real-time maintenance activation and response.

SMRT Maintenance Ops Centre

The MOC enables better quality and speed of maintenance in response to rail incidents by having experienced maintenance personnel from various engineering disciplines under one roof. Response time for incidents can be improved and the quality of realtime support provided to engineering staff attending to train, track or MRT station maintenance issues strengthened too as they have a direct line to MOC’s databases and diagnostic support.SMRT Maintenance Operations Centre

Information and data analytics are fed to MOC through condition monitoring tools, such as sensors installed on board MRT trains and trackside infrastructure allow for timely interventions that predict, prevent or pre-empt rail incidents.

Mr Lee Ling Wee, Managing Director, SMRT Trains said, “The new centre builds on past maintenance processes which saw engineering staff distributed across the NSEWL. With the MOC, engineering staff in the field are better networked, and provided with timely support when resolving complex, technical issues on the ground. Experienced staff from various engineering disciplines are co-located within the MOC where there is direct access to multiple databases presented in an integrated manner. Advice can be sent to field staff by voice, video or text messages, with a view to minimising delays and resuming train services as quickly as possible so that train service can resume quickly.”

Catching the last MRT train? Better make sure you got your timing right!

From 15 November, SMRT will be ending train services between Bugis and Tanah Merah stations along the East-West Line half an hour earlier every night from Sunday to Thursday (except for the eve of Public Holidays). This early closure will give our engineers an additional 30 minutes for our teams to work on our multi-year track renewal work.

Read more

North-South East-West Line Trains in SMRT

Did you know that 141 trains are currently used to operate SMRT’s North-South East-West Lines? There are four different models and while all of them share the same dimensions (23 metres long, 3.2 metres wide and 3.7 metres tall), the train weights are different for each model, ranging from 210 tonnes to 228 tonnes.

SMRT trains in depot

1. Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) C151

SMRT_KHI_Train_SQ SMRT’s oldest trains, the KHI, underwent a two and a half year mid-life refurbishment programme in 2006. These trains were then put through an upgrading and improvement programme from 2010 to 2013.

 

 

Years in service: 1987

Country of Origin: Japan

Total number of trains: 66

SMRT_KHI_Train_landscape2

2. Siemens (SIE) C651

SMRT_SIE_Train_SQ The second generation trains were introduced to support the train service of the Woodlands extension. The Siemens trains are the easiest to spot as they are the only trains that come in SMRT’s white and red livery.

 

 

Years in service: 1994

Country of Origin: Austria

Total number of trains: 19

SMRT_SIE_Train_landscape

3. Kawasaki Heavy Industries & Nippon Sharyo (KNS) C751B

SMRT_KNS_Train_SQ The KNS train is slanted, giving it a more streamlined look. The train looks like its smiling at you. These 3rd generation train were introduced when SMRT opened the Changi Airport Line.

 

 

Years in service: 2000

Country of Origin: Japan

Total number of trains: 21

SMRT_KNS_Train_landscape

4. Kawasaki Heavy Industries & CSR Qingdao Sifang (KSF) C151A

SMRT_KSF_Train_SQ SMRT’s newest trains, the C151A has a similar design to the C751B, sporting the same “smile”.

 

 

 

Years in service: 2011

Country of Origin: China

Total number of trains: 35

SMRT_KSF_Train_landscape

 

 

Rail repair, maintenance: SMRT replies

We refer to the letters by Dr Ho Ting Fei (“S’pore must learn from Hong Kong’s rail operator“) and Mr Aaron Ang Chin Guan (“People make all the difference“; both published on Wednesday).

SMRT Group’s rail maintenance-related expenditure accounted for 41 per cent to 45 per cent of its rail revenue over the last four quarters (Oct 1, 2014 to Sept 30, 2015).

 

 

Graph

 

 

In other words, almost half of every dollar we collect for rail revenue goes to rail maintenance-related expenditure. This refers to rail maintenance staff costs, depreciation of rail assets and other rail maintenance-related operating expenses.

To strengthen our repair and maintenance capability, we have also substantially reinforced our engineering workforce.

Over the last three years, SMRT has grown the number of rail maintenance staff by nearly a quarter (23 per cent). For executive rail engineers alone, the numbers have grown by 70 per cent.

By 2018, SMRT aims to have more than 400 engineers (a 127 per cent increase from 2011) and more than 2,600 technicians (a 50 per cent jump from 2011).

This will complement the enlarged train fleet and help keep our rail lines running smoothly.

SMRT is fully committed to strengthening the level of service and rail reliability, and to meeting the network’s higher capacity needs and operational requirements.

Lee Ling Wee
Managing Director SMRT Trains

The Purple Parade and Mural at Marina South Pier

The Purple Parade is a movement which supports the inclusion and celebrates the abilities of persons with special needs. In support of this event, SMRT has a special PURPLE TRAIN that will help spread awareness of this event. Have you spotted this specially decorated KHI train yet?

 

 

 

 

On the same day, 23 October, at Marina South Pier the “Singapore Tapestry” was unveiled. This 31 metre long, 2.6 metres tall mural was commissioned by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) as a gift to Singapore for SG50. It will be on permanent display at Marina South Pier.

Unveiling the Tapestry

Unveiling the Singapore Tapestry

Did you know that 20 of our very own SMRT staff were also involved in creating this mural?

Willy Lim and Ivan Ching, both Managers, Train Services were part of the project.

Ivan’s piece shows a train travelling upwards amongst flora and fauna with HDB blocks in the background. He explains that this means SMRT is ever progressing but with care for the surroundings. He even points out the elephant that he put in the lower left corner of the tile.

Willy’s tile represents Singapore progress for the past 50 years. He explains, “On the left you can see the kampung house grow into a HDB block. In the middle are a bus and a train, representing the progress in transport. And finally the tree on the right. You can see a tiny man resting underneath it. That shows that we can take a moment to rest and enjoy what we’ve worked hard for.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Were you also one of the 20 that took part in the tile making activity? Head over to Marina South Pier and spot your tile. You can even share what your tile means with us!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA