SINGAPORE: SMRT said it is proactively changing the way it operates, and working to improve all areas of its organisation and processes.
Its Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer Tan Ek Kia added that SMRT is confident that this will improve its rail system and service.
On Friday, SMRT issued a statement to say it had reviewed the Committee of Inquiry’s (COI) report into the December 2011 train service disruption incidents, and it will follow up on the findings and recommendations of the committee.
SMRT said it is reassured the COI recognised that the critical safety systems performed as intended, and commuter safety was not compromised.
It added that SMRT has followed a maintenance regime that has worked well in the past 25 years.
But clear challenges arise from the ageing of the MRT system and higher strains from increased train runs and system usage.
SMRT said it recognises the need for its systems and processes to evolve as it responds to these challenges.
The incidents and ensuing investigations are said to have "provided valuable insights into enhancements which need to be undertaken in SMRT’s maintenance regime and work processes, and the standards by which SMRT staff measure themselves."
After the December 2011 incidents, SMRT had commissioned an internal investigation team, independent of management, to help identify learning and improvements.
At the same time, the company began a comprehensive programme to improve its service reliability and incident response capabilities.
Throughout, SMRT said it worked in close collaboration with the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
SMRT said it will implement further improvements to the system in order to enhance the reliability and service levels for commuters.
And it will work closely with LTA on this, as the infrastructure for the system is owned by them, while the operating assets, like the trains, are owned by SMRT.
SMRT said it has been working on the key COI recommendations — some of which started even as COI was progressing.
SMRT said these are "receiving the highest level of attention in SMRT, and good progress is being made."
A number of improvements have been completed, some are in the midst of implementation, with final completion awaiting the arrival of equipment or materials, or pending successful outcome of trial solutions.
Others are yet to commence, requiring review and agreement with LTA on the most appropriate course of action.
In some areas, SMRT said it has gone beyond COI recommendations.
For example, all third—rail claws at floating slab tracks will be changed out to the positive—locking fifth generation claw by the end of August 2012, while new designs are being evaluated for the rest of the system.
SMRT is also now in the evaluation and testing stage of installing sensors on trains to detect sags and "steps" (vertical misalignment) in the third rail.
Mr Tan said: "SMRT is proactively changing the way it operates, and working to improve all areas of its organisation and processes. We are confident that this will improve our rail system and service. We thank all commuters for their patience and understanding as we work at these enhancements. We are committed to improve and serve our commuters better."
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