LTA inks agreement with German engineering firm

Deal to share information, cooperate in areas such as asset management and operations

Singapore's drive to improve rail engineering standards and rail reliability got a boost yesterday with two new initiatives.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) yesterday signed an agreement with a German rail engineering firm to share information and cooperate in areas such as asset management, customer service and operations.

Under the memorandum of understanding between LTA and Deutsche Bahn Engineering & Consulting (DB E&C), the two organisations may also have staff exchanges.

Mr Simon Giovanazzi, DB E&C Asia-Pacific executive director, said the firm could contribute its experience to the upcoming High Speed Rail project between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur scheduled to be completed in 2026.

"We were one of the first high-speed rail operators in the world," he said, adding that the firm had experience in handling the challenges of cross-border rail travel.

Mr Giovanazzi said the firm hoped to learn from Singapore's experience with driverless trains and its management of large numbers of commuters.

The agreement was signed at the closing ceremony of the three-day Singapore International Transport Congress and Exhibition yesterday .

Mr Chua Chong Kheng, LTA deputy chief executive for infrastructure and development, said the deal was in line with LTA's plans to develop its engineers' professional competencies and capabilities.

Earlier in the day, SMRT launched a postgraduate certificate course in Urban Railway Engineering, together with the University of Birmingham. This is believed to be the first such course offered by both a rail operator and university.

The three-year course aims to give participants a "thorough appreciation of the railway business and urban railway operations".

It will be open to other rail operators and cover areas such as railway landscape and management, as well as rolling stocks.

The course, to be conducted in Singapore by 12 faculty members from the university and SMRT, will begin this month with an initial intake of 190 SMRT engineers.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2016, with the headline 'LTA inks agreement with German engineering firm'. Print Edition | Subscribe