North East Line is Most Reliable MRT Line;
North-South Line is Most Improved MRT Line
The public transport workers and operators of the North East Line (NEL) and the North-South Line (NSL) were recognised today for their efforts to improve rail reliability. The NEL received the inaugural MOT Challenge Shield award for Most Reliable MRT Line, while the NSL received the award for Most Improved MRT Line.
2. Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Mr Khaw Boon Wan presented both awards at the Land Transport Excellence Awards (LTEA) 2019 ceremony held this evening.
3. Minister Khaw first announced the MOT Challenge Shield last year to recognise the hard work and dedication of our transport workers in raising rail reliability, and to encourage continued improvement. The assessment criteria for both awards is based on the preceding year’s Mean Kilometres Between Failure (MKBF) – an internationally accepted benchmark for rail reliability performance.
4. In 2018, the overall MKBF for Singapore’s rail network increased to 690,000 train-km from 181,000 train-km the year before. In particular, the NEL’s 2018 MKBF of 1,369,000 train-km surpassed even the 2020 stretch target of 1,000,000 train-km set by Minister Khaw. Meanwhile, the NSL achieved a ten-fold improvement in MKBF from 89,000 train-km in 2017 to 894,000 train-km last year.
Maintaining the NEL’s reliability
5. Over the years, SBS Transit has made use of technology such as condition-monitoring systems to improve and sustain high levels of reliability on both the NEL and Downtown Line. For instance, Predictive Maintenance Monitoring Systems have been introduced to detect deteriorations in power, train and track equipment, so that these can be addressed before a fault occurs. One example of this is the High Voltage Power Cable Partial Discharge system that is designed to monitor the cables powering the rail network, and send early warning alerts to SBST’s maintenance crew whenever an abnormal power discharge is detected.
6. To ensure that commuters can continue to enjoy reliable and comfortable rides on the NEL, LTA and SBS Transit also commenced upgrading works for the line in January 2019. These works are supported by early closures, which have been instrumental in giving workers more time to carry out complex works such as changing out critical parts of the power and signalling systems, and replacing ageing rail crossings and tracks.
7. The NEL’s first-generation train fleet will also undergo mid-life refurbishment of the interior fittings such as seats, panels and flooring. To further improve reliability, a new condition monitoring system will be added to closely monitor train performance and improve maintenance planning. The trains’ air-conditioning, ventilation and passenger information systems will also be renewed.
Intensified renewal and maintenance works on the NSEWL
8. Our oldest North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) have been serving commuters for more than 30 years since 1987. To rejuvenate its core systems and improve reliability, SMRT has been working closely with LTA in a multi-year effort to carry out intensified maintenance and asset renewal works since 2016.
9. To provide engineers and maintenance crew with more engineering hours to maintain worn rails, station equipment and trackside signalling equipment, early closures and late openings (ECLO) were implemented along the NSEWL from December 2017. With the additional engineering hours, SMRT have been able to cover two to three times the length of railway tracks for track tamping and rail grinding works, compared to a typical night without ECLO.
10. The extended engineering hours have also allowed for more intensified testing of the NSEWL’s new signalling system, which has been in daily operation on the NSL and EWL since May 2017 and May 2018 respectively, and for renewal works such as those on the NSEWL’s power supply system. Since these works commenced in October 2018, close to 250km of new fibre optic, control and low voltage cables have been laid along the NSEWL’s railway tracks. About 80 per cent of the 64P touch voltage protection systems located within the NSEWL stations have also been replaced with Voltage Limiting Devices (VLD). The new VLDs will ensure that line-wide rail operations remain unaffected by a single power trip at a particular sector of the network.
11. Both SBS Transit and SMRT have served Singapore commuters for many years and invested significantly to keep our trains running. LTA will continue working closely with both operators to provide safer and more reliable journeys for our commuters.