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SMRT ranked among better rail operators in international standards

Transport operator SMRT is ranked consistently among the better operators in the world in terms of international benchmarking of standards, according to the 2012 data of global metros by CoMET Nova Benchmarking Group.

SINGAPORE: Transport operator SMRT is ranked consistently among the better operators in the world in terms of international benchmarking of standards.

This is according to the 2012 data of global metros by CoMET Nova Benchmarking Group that comprises leading metro operators from about 30 cities in Asia, Europe and America.

SMRT ranked 10 out of 29 in terms of incidents causing more-than-five-minute delays per million car km travelled.

But SMRT conceded that it can certainly improve to be among the best.

SMRT said over the past two years, efforts to enhance its capacity and renew its systems are showing encouraging results.

There was a steady decline in the number of incidents causing delays of more than five minutes since January 2012, measured in terms of absolute numbers and the number of incidents per 100,000km.

In 2011 and 2012, there was an average of about four incidents every five days.

In 2013, the figure dropped to an average of about three incidents every five days.

For more serious delays lasting more than 30 minutes, there were seven incidents in 2011, three in 2012, and four in 2013.

SMRT said the number of trains withdrawn from service on the North-South-East-West Line (NSEWL) during operation hours as a result of technical faults has also decreased.

In 2012, there was an average of 1.62 withdrawals a day.

In 2013, the average dropped to 1.09 withdrawals a day.

Train withdrawals rates decreased by 32 per cent in 2013 from 3.32 per 100,000km in 2012 to 2.24 per 100,000km in 2013.

SMRT said its target is to reduce the withdrawal rate in 2014 to 1.8 per 100,000km through a range of preventive maintenance measures.

For example, SMRT has upgraded the train propulsion software to reduce power faults, replaced power supply units for the train propulsion system, and installed electronic noise filters to improve the reliability of the signalling system.

SMRT is now in the process of refurbishing a number of components in propulsion, brakes, pneumatic and aircon systems.

It also plans to conduct a mid-life upgrade on its fleet of Siemens trains.

SMRT has intensified works to replace 188,000 timber sleepers to concrete ones across the NSEWL by 2016 instead of 2019.

SMRT added that it will soon start works to replace the third-rail system that provides the power to the train system.

SMRT added it is strengthening its rail engineering capability.

It is enhancing the way it manages critical rail infrastructure, assets and equipment that affect the safety and reliability of train services.

SMRT will put in place systems and processes that will allow it to predict systemic failure in a more accurate and timely way.

SMRT said it has begun using new sensor technology to collect data on track and train systems with some success.

For example, the use of Linear Variable Differential Transformer sensors on the collector shoes has enabled SMRT to detect and rectify some third-rail problems.

SMRT will also be hiring more engineers and technicians over the next few years to support the 2030 Land Transport Master Plan. 

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