Yesterday, the North-South Line (NSL) achieved 100 days without any major incident! It joined Downtown Line, which has passed the 178–days’ mark and is working towards its 200-day milestone next month!
For us in the rail industry, clearing 100 disruption-free days is no mean feat: it requires everyone to do everything right. Any misstep can cause a disruption.
We have five MRT lines, with two having crossed the 100 days’ mark. The entry of NSL is especially inspiring as it is our oldest line. Its success gives us confidence that with hard work and strong determination, we will improve our rail reliability. But today’s success does not mean continued success. Any lapse, and we are back to square one, much like a game of snakes and ladders, and the clock is reset.
All rail services experience disruptions occasionally. Our challenges however are especially daunting, as we are also expanding rail capacity (adding new trains and running them more frequently), upgrading the power system and replacing ageing assets, even as we seek to stabilise the existing system and make it more reliable. And many of these engineering tasks have to be carried out during the three to four engineering hours per day.
But our colleagues on the ground are undaunted. They are pressing on, and putting in their best efforts, all thanks to the continued support of commuters and residents during the early closure of the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL). LTA has also worked with SMRT to open a stretch of the NSEWL later on Sunday mornings, to provide our engineers with more valuable time for their works. We will monitor the effectiveness of this initiative and if needed, we may extend it further. We will try to minimise the inconvenience caused, and we hope that commuters will be understanding.