SINGAPORE: As Singapore’s two oldest rail lines - the North-South and East West Lines (NSEWL) - undergo much-needed renewal expected to go on until 2023, the benefits are already being felt as the NSL’s reliability scores hit a milestone.
There has been an improvement in the Mean Kilometres Between Failure (MKBF) – a benchmark for rail reliability performance – said Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Friday (Jul 5).
“As the old assets got replaced and upgraded, the East-West Line’s MKBF has gone up, from more than 400,000 train-km in 2018 to now nearly 700,000 train-km,” he said.
The North-South Line (NSL) has shown even better results.
"Its MKBF has now exceeded my 1 million train-km target ... now 1.4 million train-km, making it as reliable as top metros like the Taipei Metro and Hong Kong MTR,” Mr Khaw said during a visit to Kranji MRT station to check on the power system renewal project.
Up until 2014, the MKBF for both lines hovered below 100,000 train-km, he pointed out.
Giving an update on the renewal process, Mr Khaw said that work for three asset groups, namely the sleepers, third rail and signalling system are complete.
This leaves three other assets groups to go – the power system, trains and track circuits.
For trains and track circuits, Mr Khaw said renewal of the NSEWL in these core areas would be completed by around 2023.
READ: Higher rail reliability target for 2020 set, as improvements seen: Khaw Boon Wan
As for power system renewal works, Mr Khaw said that since work started last October, SMRT and its operators have put in more than 900,000 man hours across 15 concurrent work fronts. It has since completed more than 25 per cent of the project, which the minister said was “not bad” although more work lies ahead.
Mr Khaw, who is also Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure, also took time to thank both SMRT and SBS Transit, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and its employees and equipment manufacturers for putting in their resources to make Singapore’s MRT service more reliable.
He reiterated that the 1 million MKBF target it set for itself is a demanding one, and only a handful of metros around the world have achieved it consistently. The Downtown Line, North East Line and NSL have now crossed the target, and the other rail lines here are not far behind, added the minister.
“We can all be proud of what we have achieved so far, but we must never become complacent,” said Mr Khaw.