In the article “TRAINS ON THE NORTH-SOUTH AND EAST-WEST LINES SAFE FOR SERVICE”, the Land Transport Authority (LTA, 2016) wrote that despite undergoing rectification works, the trains that have been in the media spotlight are safe for service.
According to LTA, all new trains are tested before they are put into service. For defective trains, immediate action was taken to prevent defects from resurfacing during train operation.
Hairline cracks that were discovered during inspection were confirmed to not affect operational safety. Nevertheless, to ensure that there are sufficient trains for commuters, all affected trains were being sent back, one at a time, for rectification. Stringent checks would also be performed regularly to ensure operational safety of all trains. This article was written to clarify that safety was never compromised despite having defects on the trains, and extensive measures were taken to rectify the problem.
In my opinion, the issue was handled systematically by the respective parties, otherwise more time would have been wasted, as well as, inconvenience to the commuters.
The Straits Times webpage interviewed Mr Khaw (2016), in which he said that an independent accessor, TUV Rheinland assured that the trains are operationally safe. The trains can withstand three times the maximum stress during operations, not having to compromise the safety margin. "According to SIM University senior lecturer Park Byung Joon (2016), he stated that the cracks on the train does not compromise safety as long as they are being monitored. An example he had given, was that most people never knew that airplanes also have cracks. Commuters should be assured that stress tests are being conducted and are guaranteed safe for operation.
Additionally, Channel News Asia (2016) suggest that, the matter involving the hairline cracks were handled systematically; In addition, instead of pushing the blame, they took action by taking responsibility and rectified the problem. Such as, extended warranty period for the train parts and that Kawaksaki-Sifang arranged replacement for all 26 bolsters and car bodies.
The Straits Times (2016) article also attempts to relief the tension in the public by answering one of the key issues raised, “Why was the issue not made public earlier?”. Response was, safety was never an issue and responsibility was taken on by the manufacturers; Moreover, there are sufficient trains for the commuters, if the issue was not handled up to satisfaction, only then would the situation be publicized. In this article, many questions were answered by Mr Khaw himself and his intention was clear that he did not want to create public unrest due to this issue.
In conclusion, the respective parties involved in the situation have done well rectifying the problem by addressing the public’s concern, as well as, ensuring sufficient trains for commuters.
Khaw (2016, Aug 17). Cracks on MRT trains: Khaw addresses key issues raised. The Straits times. Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/cracks-on-mrt-trains-khaw-addresses-key-issues-raised
Khaw (2016, July 12). Minister Khaw Boon Wan: I covered up the news of MRT train return. The Straits times review page. Retrieved from http://statestimesreview.com/2016/07/12/minister-khaw-boon-wan-i-covered-up-the-news-of-mrt-train-return/
Khaw (2016, Aug 16). Khaw: Lessons to be learnt from defective SMRT trains incident. Channel News Asia. Retrieved from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/lessons-to-be-learnt-from/3048928.html
The Straits Times (2016, Sept 10). Hairline cracks found on 11 Sengkang-Punggol LRT trains. The Straits times, Retrieved from http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/hairline-cracks-found-on-11-lrt-trains
Land Transport Authority (2016, July 6). TRAINS ON THE NORTH-SOUTH AND EAST-WEST LINES SAFE FOR SERVICE. LTA news page. Retrieved from https://www.lta.gov.sg/apps/news/page.aspx?c=2&id=0f8b1220-0289-4bef-99c9b2455f17a66c#_ftn1