SMRT to carry out major overhaul of escalators at 42 MRT stations

Commuters taking the escalator up at the Toa Payoh MRT station towards the Toa Payoh Bus Interchange.
Commuters taking the escalator up at the Toa Payoh MRT station towards the Toa Payoh Bus Interchange. PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - Rail operator SMRT will be refurbishing escalators at 42 stations along the North-South and East-West Lines.

This is the first major overhaul of escalators at stations since the MRT began operations in 1987 and work is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

In a statement on Tuesday (Aug 16), SMRT said that refurbishment had already started at the Ang Mo Kio station, with works beginning at Tanah Merah later in August and Tanjong Pagar in November.

Work on each escalator will take eight to 10 weeks , with new parts such as traction motors and "traffic lights" indicating the direction of travel being installed.

To avoid inconveniencing commuters, work will be carried out on only one escalator at a time at each station and work areas will be cordoned off.

Said SMRT Trains managing director Lee Ling Wee: "The refurbishment is timely as it will allow us to change out the old parts and install the latest technology in escalator motors, safety systems and energy efficiency. These include visual indicators that alert commuters of the end of the escalator and more reliable components that ensure downtime for maintenance will be kept to a minimum."

OTIS Singapore, which won the project, will refurbish 233 escalators at 42 of the 54 MRT stations along the two lines at a cost of S$47.3 million.