Reporting of train service performance: SMRT replies

We have been reporting quarterly statistics on the performance of the North-South and East-West lines (NSEWL) on the SMRT website, similar to what Hong Kong's MTR does ("Publish monthly reports on MRT service performance" by Mr Patrick Tan Siong Kuan; Nov 25).

Such data allows commuters to keep track of key performance indicators for our rail system, such as delays of more than five minutes, disruptions of more than 30 minutes and the train withdrawal rate.

Data on the reliability of assets used by commuters, such as escalators, lifts and fare gates, has recently been included.

We will continue to publish key service performance indicators on a regular basis.

The resleepering, resignalling, third-rail replacement and power network improvement programmes will contribute to better reliability on the NSEWL.

We are confident the mean kilometre between failure rate will improve. We have stepped up our maintenance efforts, and our multi-year, multi-project renewal efforts are on track.

While we acknowledge that the improvement in NSEWL service reliability may not seem significant in the first 10 months of the year, it will demonstrate clear improvements in the coming years.

We have been tracking the sources of our service delays over the past three years and classifying them into categories such as third rail, signalling, traction power and various types of train-related faults.

For each category, we have a series of initiatives in place to address these faults. Improvements in the mean kilometre between failure rate will be achieved as we complete each of these initiatives.

For example, we had a number of third-rail-related incidents in the first 10 months of the year that resulted in planned service delays that allowed us to intervene to prevent longer disruptions to service.

With the completion of the third-rail replacement by next March, we expect to significantly reduce the occurrence of such incidents.

Mr Tan may wish to refer to Your Journey Matters - most recently updated in August and also available on our website - for a comprehensive primer on SMRT's efforts to renew and improve the NSEWL.

These multi-project renewal efforts will take a couple more years to complete because we are making improvements even as we operate track and train assets 20 hours a day, 365 days a year.

We are determined to catch up with Hong Kong's MTR and we believe the NSEWL's rail reliability will see marked improvements in the coming years.

Lee Ling Wee

Managing Director

SMRT Trains

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2016, with the headline 'Reporting of train service performance: SMRT replies'. Print Edition | Subscribe