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Working at SMRT: More than Just a Day Job

 Principal Engineer, Wayne Chen

– Wayne Chen, Principal Engineer, Permanent Way

After seven years at a statutory board, I made the move to SMRT Trains in 2015 with the hope of contributing more to the rail industry. What attracted me to the company, was the fact that SMRT has many brownfield projects to work on, whereas it was all about introducing new systems where I was at.

I need to be in the depot early every weekday morning to attend our daily Permanent Way morning meetings at 8am. These meetings start early as the night engineering teams from around the country would update the day teams on maintenance done on our tracks and issues encountered during the wee hours before. The rest of the day is spent working with the day teams investigating root causes behind various issues, finding long-term fixes, and working to optimise our maintenance processes. I usually leave the depot in the evening for dinner with the wife and children.

Sometimes, that is not the end of my work day.

Once I’ve tucked my children in at 10pm, I head back to the depot to spend the night with the engineers and technicians working the night shifts. This is not just about working on the maintenance of our tracks to keep it safe and fit for operations. It is also about being there with my team to show them we are in this together. We are #OneSMRT.

The team thinks that I am there to motivate them. In reality, I rely on them for motivation. The passion they possess and the pride they take in their work keep me focused on the goal. Many of my colleagues have clocked 30 years on the job. Their work ethic and the ownership they have over the job is simply quite mind-blowing.

We are determined to provide Singaporeans with better journeys every day. This is not your usual office job. It is definitely worth it when I know my team and I have contributed in ensuring our commuters get to their destinations safely and comfortably.

#LetsPressOn #SMRTogether


Wayne Chen is a principal engineer at SMRT Trains. He performs engineering analysis and trending assessments to improve the reliability of rail track components and equipment for the North-South and East-West Lines.

Trains Operations Review: Improving Reliability and Connectivity

SMRT staff at work

There are over two million commuter rides on our trains every day. SMRT Trains is working to ensure that we bring you safe, reliable and comfortable rides every day.

Our multi-year, multi-project efforts in renewing the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) as well as our plans to increase reliability on the Circle Line and Bukit Panjang LRT are in full force. Here’s a snap shot and progress update on our ongoing renewal works.

SMRT Rail Renewal figures

The NSEWL will receive 57 new trains by 2018, of which 45 new trains have been delivered to Bishan Depot and Tuas Depot. The trains are being fitted out and tested extensively to ensure they are certified safe for passenger service.

Designed to operate with the new signalling system, we will be able to deploy more trains on the NSEWL in the foreseeable future.

SMRT upgrades older trains and buys new trains

As we work toward improving rail reliability, we place strong emphasis on growing our operations capability.

The Maintenance Operations Centre (MOC), the first of its kind in the region, was set up in 2015 to allow us to solve complex technical issues in real-time, so we can rectify track faults more quickly. The MOC has introduced new condition monitoring technologies and real-time data analytics to bolster our existing fault rectification arsenal.

Here’s a look at how we measure reliability and how we perform against the Land Transport Authority’s benchmarks.

SMRT measures reliability

From June 2017, SMRT began operating the Tuas West Extension, an extension of the EWL from Joo Koon Station.

With this, commuters travelling to Jurong and Tuas enjoy significantly better public transport connectivity.

Opening of the Tuas West Extension and Circle Line Loop

SMRT Trains will continue to bring you greater convenience and comfort.

Graphics: SMRT Trains Ltd. Operations Review 2017