SMRT has introduced the use of fixed gantry cranes in the replacement of sleepers along the East-West line (EWL).
The cranes, which are about 20m in height and weigh 74 tonnes, are used to hoist the Road Rail Vehicles (RRV) as well as the sleepers from the ground on to the tracks.
The cranes allow the vehicles, which are used to replace the current wooden sleepers with longer-lasting concrete ones, to be deployed more quickly to the work front, and allowing more sleepers to be replaced.
There are currently two gantry cranes used for this purpose.
One can be found at the line extension after the Pasir Ris MRT station, which serves the EWL between the Pasir Ris and Simei stations, and has been in operation since Jan 14.
The other, which will be used to replace sleepers between Jurong East and Boon Lay stations, can be found between the Chinese Garden and Lakeside stations and is expected to begin operations on Feb 14.
The use of the cranes, manufactured by home-grown company Jenmon International, brings the total number of staging areas from which the RRVs can be launched to six.
Currently 33 per cent of the 92,000 sleepers on the EWL have been replaced.
Replacement of the sleepers is expected to be completed early next year (2017).