Plan MRT signalling system tests on weekends

The frequent disruptions of MRT train service in the past week due to tests of a new signalling system have caused inconvenience to many commuters, resulting in them being late for work and school (MRT delays may occur as tests continue; June 28).

As a retired electrical engineer, I suggest a planned limited closure of the MRT lines for the operators to carry out the major testing and maintenance work.

For the testing of the new signalling system, it is best that the train operators be allowed a complete stoppage of train service of one line (or half a line) over the weekend - from midnight on Friday to early Monday morning - for several weekends.

Weekend stoppage of train services causes less disruption to working commuters.

The train operators will have more than 50 hours of uninterrupted time for complete live testing of the signalling system, as well as to carry out major preventive maintenance work to rectify any faults that may occur.

During this period, the train operators should provide free transport to the affected commuters along the route of the disrupted line, while bus services should operate at full capacity.

Taxi companies, including Grab and Uber, should also advise their drivers to be out in full force to cater to the increased transport need.

On the part of commuters, we would gladly accept the inconvenience of a planned temporary service disruption, rather than sudden train disruptions or long delays owing to the tests.

Seah Leong Khai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2017, with the headline 'Plan MRT signalling system tests on weekends'. Print Edition | Subscribe