Grant Call for Research Proposals in Improving Productivity of Rail Maintenance while Sustaining Desired Reliability

More than 3.5 million trips or 40% of daily public transport trips are made on our rail network, which is the backbone of our public transport system. A reliable and resilient rail network supports our goal of “20-minute towns and a 45-minute city”. With this vision in mind, we have been committed to improving the reliability of our rail system.

Currently, the local rail industry employs more than 8,000 rail operations and maintenance workers. About 20% of these workers today are above 55 years old. Our challenge is to maintain this pool, and grow it to the 15,000 workers who will be needed come 2030 to support our expanded rail network operations and maintenance.

A significant amount of the maintenance work today is manual and relies heavily on on-site manpower during the short engineering hours. To circumvent potential maintenance productivity issues and improve our maintenance efficiency for a better network, there is a fundamental need to innovate and automate these maintenance works. This will allow us to minimise the frequency and duration of repair and replacement work, and the reliance on on-site manpower without compromising rail reliability.

Grant Call for Solutions Open to Rail System Maintenance Work

LTA is launching a grant call for proposals to leverage on research and technology to improve productivity of rail maintenance work while sustaining desired reliability. The three focus areas identified are:

  1. Innovate and Automate Permanent Way (P-way) Maintenance;
  2. Innovate and Automate Rolling Stock Maintenance; and
  3. Innovate and Automate Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) and Other System Maintenance

Eligibility Criteria

The call is open to all R&D organisations in Singapore including publicly funded institutes of higher learning (IHLs), not-for-profit research institutions (RIs), public sector agencies, companies and company-affiliated research entities.  The Lead Principal Investigator will be required to have a minimum time commitment of 9 months per year in Singapore. International parties can participate as collaborators.

How to apply?

The relevant documents may be downloaded here:

Submission for all Full Proposals must follow the Full Proposal Guidelines and should only be in Word, Excel or PDF formats. All documents should be submitted to LTA_Innovate@lta.gov.sg

Proposals will be selected through a single-stage process and evaluated based on i) potential for impact and subsequent scalability, ii) strength of project execution, and iii) technical competency of the team. Shortlisted proposals will be invited to revise and present to the Technical Evaluation Panel (TEP).

Proposals should cover the objectives, proposed approach and project execution plan. This would include explaining and quantifying the outcomes that could be achieved with the proposed research area.

Submission Deadline

Submission of proposals for this Open Call commence on 16 Sep 2020 (Wed), 1200hrs. The deadline for submission is 19 Oct 2020 (Mon), 1200hrs.

For further enquiries on this Open Call, please email LTA at LTA_Innovate@lta.gov.sg.

Image of Permanent Way (P-Way) Maintenance

This focus area aims to develop solutions to innovate and automate P-way maintenance, to:

•       Minimise the frequency and duration of repair and replacement work

•       Minimise reliance on on-site manpower

Applicants should select a specific Challenge listed under the Grant Call Factsheet: Focus Area A to propose innovative solutions to the problem statements. Proposals should address the possible improvements and recommend how the impact would be measured. If a new area is proposed, please attach a support letter from the rail operator on its significance.

Image of a train at inspection bay.

This focus area aims to develop solutions to innovate and automate rolling stock maintenance, to:

•       Minimise the frequency and duration of maintenance for the whole train

•       Minimise reliance on maintenance manpower

Applicants should select a specific Challenge listed under the Grant Call Factsheet: Focus Area B to propose innovative solutions to the problem statements. Proposals should address the possible improvements and recommend how the impact would be measured. If a new area is proposed, please attach a support letter from the rail operator on its significance.

Image of Newton MRT station

This focus area aims to develop solutions to innovate and automate mechanical & electrical (M&E) and other system maintenance, to:

•       Minimise the frequency and duration of inspection and repair work

•       Minimise manpower requirement on labour intensive work

Applicants should select a specific Challenge listed under the Grant Call Factsheet: Focus Area C to propose innovative solutions to the problem statements. Proposals should address the possible improvements and recommend how the impact would be measured. If a new area is proposed, please attach a support letter from the rail operator on its significance.

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