Nor Khairul is a Technical Officer at the Rolling Stock Workshop. He has been with SMRT for about three years and he handles corrective and preventive maintenance of the North-South East-West trains in the SMRT network. He is also one of the faces in the “We’re Working On It” series of posters. You may recognise him as the Jurong resident working on the underside of the train. We caught up with Nor Khairul to find out more about what he does at SMRT.
How long did it take to get this photo? Did you have to pose very long?
Actually it wasn’t posed! I was just doing my usual work and then the photographer came by and took my photo.
What were you doing when the photo was taken?
We had just replaced the traction motor on the bogie. I was tightening the centre pivot nut and locking levelling valve turnbuckle.
Wow, what exactly does that mean?
This is part of maintenance. There are total 8 motors mounted on the carriages of the train. These motors will need to be changed due to defects or overhaul. Changing the motor takes almost a whole day for the team of 3-4 of us to complete. We lift the carriages up, remove the fasteners and lower the bogie. The motor is attached to the bogie, which is the frame that holds components like the wheels and the motor that run the train. After the motor is replaced, other maintenance work, may also done to the rest of the bogie. Finally, the whole assembly is lifted back into the train and fastened. When the photographer saw me, I was already finishing the last part of the traction motor change.
What sort of equipment do you have to use?
One of the tools is the hydraulic torque, like the one you see here. It is used to tighten parts of the bogie like the central pivot nut.
What is your job like?
We are known as the RAM or Repair and Maintenance Team. There are total 10 of us every day on roster, where half of them will work on preventive maintenance while the other half handles corrective maintenance. We work on three carriages at a time. Generally, we can complete repairs and maintenance within a day or more depending the complexity of the work involved. Some of the more common jobs would be swapping out components like the traction motor, axles and gear box. The work here is systematic and a lot of teamwork is needed.
What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t working?
I love fishing! We go out to the open sea for that. My largest catch so far was at Tanjung Pinang where I caught an Aruan Tasik, a type of snakehead fish.