New system to identify rail faults before they occur

Commuters on the Downtown Line. A consortium comprising engineering giant Siemens, which supplied the signalling system for the Downtown Line, and local company ST Engineering Electronics clinched the $18.8 million contract to develop the system.
Commuters on the Downtown Line. A consortium comprising engineering giant Siemens, which supplied the signalling system for the Downtown Line, and local company ST Engineering Electronics clinched the $18.8 million contract to develop the system.BH FILE PHOTO

Consortium wins $18.8m contract to develop system which aims to cover entire network, says LTA

A new system that identifies potential faults on the rail network before they occur will be introduced within the next two years, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced yesterday.

The system will use data analytics and other input to assess the state of the tracks and the trains themselves, and other areas such as signals and power supply.

A range of monitoring systems is already in use on individual lines but the new process - dubbed the rail enterprise asset management system (Reams) - aims to cover the entire network.

Reams will also identify potential faults so pre-emptive maintenance and upgrading can be carried out.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said two years ago that such a system would be developed.

A consortium comprising engineering giant Siemens and local company ST Engineering Electronics has clinched an $18.8 million contract to develop the system, the LTA said yesterday.

"This shift towards data-driven, just-in-time predictive maintenance and asset renewal is key to bringing rail reliability to the next level, and optimising overall life-cycle costs," said an LTA spokesman.

 
 

Reams will be initially introduced on the Downtown Line by mid-2020. The consortium will develop a software platform that will analyse data from the maintenance management system for the 42km of track.

It will also analyse data from the 92 trains on the Downtown Line, as well as across its six key systems, such as signalling and power supply.

"Other rail lines will be added to Reams in phases thereafter," said the LTA.

Siemens supplied the signalling system for the Downtown Line and earlier this year won a $73 million contract to upgrade the track circuit systems on the North-South and East-West lines as part of a consortium with French firm Engie Services Singapore.

ST Engineering Electronics designed and implemented the rail electronics systems for the MRT in the 1980s.

The LTA said it is confident that the consortium's "deep experience with Singapore's rail operating environment" will enable it to successfully develop and implement Reams, and to provide long-term support for the system.

Singapore's rail system has been moving towards greater adoption of predictive maintenance.

In May, the LTA bought 17 trains from French firm Alstom - each equipped with condition-monitoring sensors to track the health of on-board equipment - for use on the North-East and Circle lines.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 21, 2018, with the headline 'New system to identify rail faults before they occur'. Print Edition | Subscribe