Updated: 02/18/2014 02:49

Two train operators to take new approach to maintenance regime: Lui

Two train operators to take new approach to maintenance regime: Lui

Singapore's two train operators will adopt a "predict and prevent" approach to their maintenance regimes from now on. 

Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said this new approach will see operators take active *condition monitoring* of the rail system. 

Mr Lui was responding to MPs' questions on the reliability of train services, in the wake of several disruptions last month, including one that affected some 19,000 peak hour commuters. 

So far, SMRT and SBS Transit have been using the "find and fix" approach to correct existing issues with their rail systems. 

The new "predict and prevent" strategy will be more proactive. 

For instance, operational trains have started to be run across the whole network to detect problems. 

They provide real time data and, in some cases, trigger urgent repairs. 

This is on top of a $500 million investment by SMRT to overhaul older trains by 2016 and upgrade the signalling system by 2018. 

SBS Transit has also stepped up improvement works to rectify tunnel leakages among other issues, and will be commencing an upgrading programme for the North-East Line trains. 

Mr Lui also said he has called in SMRT's senior management to convey his concerns after the recent spate of incidents. 

Some 19,000 peak hour travellers were affected by a train delay on the North-South Line on a Monday morning in January. 

"SMRT could have done much better in service recovery, especially to provide timely information to affected commuters. As part of its investigations, LTA will also highlight gaps in SMRT's communication with affected commuters, and work closely with both operators to share learning experiences and improve their incident management."

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