Consider hybrid power system for MRT trains

There seems to be no solution to the frequent train breakdowns ("Train services along 4 lines disrupted"; yesterday).

With advanced technological developments, is it not possible for SMRT to look into a "hybrid" train engine similar to those used in motor vehicles?

Our local universities and Singapore Technologies are very innovative and have come up with many engineering feats in the past that have put us on the world map.

Perhaps we can look into developing train engines that depend not only on external electrical energy but have a backup battery as well.

When external energy fails, the backup supply can kick in within minutes, just like in our hybrid cars.

Once external energy is restored, it can take over the running of the train.


In view of the unstable rail network, I urge the Land Transport Authority to restore bus services that were rerouted or removed because they were deemed to be duplicating the rail route.


With advancement in the development of batteries, we can work with specialists in this field to come up with a suitable model for our trains.

This will also put us on the world map and create new business opportunities for Singapore.

Ronnie Lim Ah Bee

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 27, 2016, with the headline 'Consider hybrid power system for MRT trains'. Print Edition | Subscribe