Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Summary of article: LTA - Draft 1.

In the article “TRAINS ON THE NORTH-SOUTH AND EAST-WEST LINES SAFE FOR SERVICE”, the Land Transport Authority (2016) wrote that the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) trains, that have been in the media spotlight, are safe for service.
According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), testing is conducted on all new trains, including the Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang (KHI-CSR) trains in question, before they are put into service. For these trains, immediate action was taken to prevent issues with battery housing as well as cracks of the draughtscreen from resurfacing during train operation.
Hairline cracks were discovered on the car-body bolster of the train during inspection. These were confirmed by LTA to not affect operational safety. Nevertheless, all the affected trains were gradually being sent back for modification.
To ensure that there are sufficient trains for commuters, only one train was sent back at a time due to “time consuming and labour-intensive” rectification works. These replacements can be completed as early as 2019 as more trains will be sent back concurrently starting next year.
LTA stated that they would perform stringent checks regularly to ensure operational safety of all trains.



In my opinion, I feel that this article was written to ensure that safety was never compromised even though hairline cracks were found on the bolster of the trains.
This includes the fact that the issue was handled in an organized and systematic way by the respective parties which proves their competency.
To me, I feel that what is important is how they react to the situation when an issue arise, and how the problems were approached effectively so as to prevent future similar happenings.
According to the straits times, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has addressed the issue that these trains could withstand stress of more than three times the operational experience, without reducing the safety margin. This meant that commuters should feel at ease that stress tests are conducted to ensure that are no defects.
It is also known that the issue with battery housing occurred only during testing phase; hence proving that testing was effecting in finding any defects before using it.
Many would feel that (KHI-CSR) should be replaced so as to prevent future reoccurrence. In reference to Channel News Asia, I feel that they handled the issue systematically and professionally by taking ownership of the issue voluntarily; prolonging the warranty of the bolsters and car bodies after replacing them. This culture of taking responsibility should be commended on.
In addition, it is stated that tenders were called based on excellence and price valuation. However, I feel that there should be a limit as to how many defects were found during testing. If a certain number of defects were found, the respective companies should be given another chance to rectify the issue and ensure that it will not occur again. Should it happen again, the company should be barred from contesting for subsequent tenders for a given period.
The point of this is to learn from this incident is that, taking responsibility of the problem should be encouraged, followed by solutions to prevent similar happenings and follow ups to be made.

Cracks on MRT trains: Khaw addresses key issues raised (2016, Aug 17). In Straits times. Retrieved from

Lessons to be learnt from defective SMRT trains incident: Khaw (2016, Aug 16). In Channel News Asia. Retrieved from


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