As part of a five-day visit to Singapore that began last Thursday, Finland's Transport and Communications Minister Anne Berner viewed one of the sites for the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) yesterday.
Together with Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, she visited an 800m tunnel connecting the upcoming Orchard and Orchard Boulevard stations on the TEL.
She also viewed a demonstration of how the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is testing the use of eight drones to "improve operational efficiency" at rail construction sites.
The drones are used to inspect construction work and check for defects at locations that are difficult to access, such as train tunnels. The job is traditionally done by a person using scaffolding.
"The use of drones has contributed to a safer and more cost-efficient work process, while reducing manpower and equipment requirements," said an LTA spokesman.
The LTA is currently conducting a year-long trial of the use of drones to monitor progress at 10 worksites for the TEL. In March, it issued a request for information on the use of drones and unmanned vehicles to inspect road and rail tunnels.
Ms Berner also viewed plans for the 43km line - which will be opened in stages between 2019 and 2024 - as well as the Rapid Transit System, which will provide a rail link between Johor Baru and Woodlands by 2024.
Last Friday, it was announced that SMRT had won the contract to operate the TEL for nine years, with a bid of $1.7 billion.
The rail operator will also run the Rapid Transit System as part of a joint venture with Prasarana Malaysia, whose subsidiary runs an MRT line through the Klang Valley.