LTA appoints independent advisory panel to review rail power system

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan hinted again at restructuring the rail industry, this time at the Joint Forum on Infrastructure Maintenance on Dec 4.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan hinted again at restructuring the rail industry, this time at the Joint Forum on Infrastructure Maintenance on Dec 4.PHOTO: ST FILE

The power supply system of the entire MRT and LRT network will receive a thorough health check by next month.

In a first for the rail network, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has appointed an Independent Advisory Panel to study the power system's resilience.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the panel will look into all recent power-related disruptions, identify potential system gaps, and determine the timing for the next upgrade.

 

The 13-member panel comprises industry experts from Hong Kong's MTR Corporation, Japan's Meidensha Corporation and Germany's Siemens, as well as academics from three local universities. There are also representatives from SBS Transit, SMRT, LTA, the Energy Market Authority and Empower Engineering Services.

The worst MRT breakdown to date on July 7 was power-related - an intermittent tripping of the power system at multiple locations crippled the North-South and East-West lines.

Dr Lock Kai Sang, a panel member and adjunct professor at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, said the panel brings together "diverse backgrounds and complementary competencies" to spot weaknesses and find solutions.

The review will cost $300,000 and is scheduled to be completed by the end of next month.

Separately, the LTA will also set up a standing Expert Audit Panel, with members drawn from German, Hong Kong and Japanese rail operators.

"They will visit us regularly, examine the reliability of our rail system, and help us achieve excellence in rail operations and maintenance," said Mr Khaw.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2015, with the headline 'Panel to review rail power system'. Print Edition | Subscribe