Limited train service on Sengkang-Punggol LRT on Sunday mornings to facilitate engineering work

While all Sengkang-Punggol LRT stations will open at 5.30am as usual, there will be train services on only one platform at selected segments until 7am, with the other platform opening after 7am.
While all Sengkang-Punggol LRT stations will open at 5.30am as usual, there will be train services on only one platform at selected segments until 7am, with the other platform opening after 7am.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Commuters will experience longer travel times on the Sengkang-Punggol LRT on Sunday mornings next January and February.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Friday (Dec 15) that there will be limited services on stretches of the Sengkang-Punggol LRT on six Sundays, to facilitate maintenance and upgrading work.

While all Sengkang-Punggol LRT stations will open at 5.30am as usual, there will be train services on only one platform at selected segments until 7am, with the other platform opening after 7am.

The authority said operator SBS Transit will increase the frequency of trains on the operational platform, to cope with the increase in passenger load.

The limited train service is to facilitate "enhanced preventive maintenance and asset renewal works", which require additional engineering time, said LTA.

Works include the progressive replacement of viaduct bearings and the strengthening of crosshead structures that support the Sengkang-Punggol LRT viaducts.

The LTA said that while cracks were found on the crossheads during regular inspections, these were assessed to not be of any safety risk to commuters and did not compromise the load-bearing capacity of the crossheads.

Rectification of the cracks will be carried out as a precautionary measure and these works will be completed by 2020.

Other renewal works being done on the Sengkang-Punggol LRT include the replacement of the system's power rail and power rail assemblies, along with maintenance of the signalling switch machines and cables. These will be completed by 2022.

The LTA said schedules for the limited Sengkang-Punggol LRT services after next February will be announced at a later date.

Separately, the LTA said that a project to install a new power supply intake source for the Bukit Panjang LRT at the Junction 10 substation was completed last week.

The existing power supply intake source at Choa Chu Kang MRT substation will be retained as a backup, providing the LRT system there with additional redundancy.

LTA added that it would be awarding a contract in early 2018 for the replacement and renewal of other major components and systems of the Bukit Panjang LRT.

 

Since it opened in 1999, the Bukit Panjang LRT has been saddled with reliability issues due to its design, which had to contend with undulating terrain and sharp turns.

LTA's deputy chief executive for infrastructure and development Chua Chong Kheng said: "With the completion of these renewal works, commuters can expect more reliable journeys."

In a statement on Friday, LTA also released the Mean Kilometres Between Failure figures for the LRT network.

This figure reflects how long a train travels before experiencing a delay of longer than five minutes.

The Mean Kilometres Between Failure for the LRT network increased to 70,000 car-km for the first three quarters of 2017, up from 49,000 car-km for the whole of 2016.