SBS Transit partners with Taipei Metro operator to improve rail reliability

Trains operated by Taipei Rapid Transit pass residential buildings in Taipei on July 6, 2017.
Trains operated by Taipei Rapid Transit pass residential buildings in Taipei on July 6, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Rail operator SBS Transit has signed an agreement with two Taiwanese firms to help to strengthen its engineering and maintenance capabilities.

The three organisations will leverage "each other's competencies and experiences through mutual exchanges, study visits, training and the sharing of best practices", said SBS Transit on Thursday (April 19).

SBS is aiming to achieve one million mean kilometres between failures, a goal set for the MRT network by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan last July.

SBS Transit chief executive Gan Juay Kiat said the partnership with Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC) and its subsidiary Metro Consulting Service "will help us to leverage each others' strengths and experiences in operations and maintenance".

TRTC operates the Taipei Metro, whose standard of 800,000km between glitches has been held up by Mr Khaw as a benchmark for Singapore's network.

A TRTC team was also engaged by SMRT to review its maintenance operations following last October's flooding incident which caused a 14-hour shutdown of a large section of the North-South Line.

Metro Consulting Service has 13 years of railway consultancy experience and has participated in rail projects in Taiwan, China and Eastern Europe.

SBS Transit - which operates the Sengkang-Punggol LRT line and the North-East and Downtown MRT lines - has rolled out a number of initiatives aimed at improving reliability.

These include a system that warns maintenance staff of developing power faults and as an automatic track inspection operation employing cameras and sensors mounted on passenger trains to detect faults such as cracks on sleepers and rails.