SBST, ST Kinetics in tie-up to boost rail maintenance

ST Kinetics president Lee Shiang Long (left) and SBS Transit chief executive officer Gan Juay Kiat at the memorandum of understanding signing ceremony on Wednesday.
ST Kinetics president Lee Shiang Long (left) and SBS Transit chief executive officer Gan Juay Kiat at the memorandum of understanding signing ceremony on Wednesday.PHOTO: SBS TRANSIT

SBS Transit, the operator of the North East and Downtown MRT lines, will work with Singapore Technologies (ST) Kinetics to strengthen its rail maintenance and engineering capabilities.

The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday. The partnership will be ST Kinetics' first project in rail maintenance, adding to its expertise in land vehicles and weapons.

SBS Transit will tap ST Kinetics' "strong capabilities in testing and repair, maintenance, engineering and obsolescence management to support its rail operations", the two companies said in a joint press statement on Wednesday.

They said they will also collaborate on the use of automation and robotics solutions to improve operational productivity and efficiency.

For a start, an agreement was also inked on Wednesday for ST Kinetics to provide expertise and services to refurbish electronic components for trains used on the North East Line and the Sengkang-Punggol LRT.

While ST Kinetics is a newcomer to the rail sector, observers said SBS Transit can learn much from the subsidiary of ST Engineering.

Assistant Professor Andrew Ng from the Singapore Institute of Technology's engineering cluster said ST Kinetics "has (a) strong engineering foundation in system design, development and management, which can benefit SBS Transit's rail testing, repairs and maintenance".

Assistant Professor Andrew Ng from the Singapore Institute of Technology's engineering cluster said ST Kinetics "has (a) strong engineering foundation in system design, development and management, which can benefit SBS Transit's rail testing, repairs and maintenance".

He added: "Railway engineering is a multidisciplinary field involving electrical, electronic, mechanical, civil systems, and computer engineering."

He said it bodes well for commuters that rail operators are reaching out to work with local and overseas academia and industry.

For example, SMRT signed an agreement with the University of Birmingham in February last year to collaborate on educating rail professionals.

"It will certainly enhance the rail engineers' and technicians' professional competence... thereby improving the overall reliability... of our rail transportation," Prof Ng said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2017, with the headline 'SBST, ST Kinetics in tie-up to boost rail maintenance'. Print Edition | Subscribe