SINGAPORE - Work to replace sleepers on the North-South Line has hit the half-way mark. Commuters can expect travel speeds to improve by this October or November, said rail operator SMRT on Wednesday on its Facebook page.
However while commuters will be pleased to see the North-South Line back on track, they will start to experience a slowdown of travel speed along the East-West Line with similar work starting next year, wrote SMRT's managing director of SMRT trains Lee Ling Wee.
Sleepers are beams that support the rails. When new sleepers are fitted, they require time to settle on the ballast on which tracks are laid. For safety reasons, trains travel at slower speeds of about 40kmh instead of the normal 78kmh over newly-laid sleepers until they are properly settled.
Referring to how other cities like London and Paris close segments of their metro systems for track renewal works, Mr Lee added: "This is not possible in the context of Singapore's urban rail network. As such, we strive to work within the tight engineering window of 4 hours between 1.30am to 5.30am, and we seek your understanding for the early closure of half an hour 5 days a week for selected stretches of the track."