SMRT Strengthens Organisation to Deliver on Reliability and Build Engineering Capabilities

Singapore, 16 November 2018

SMRT Strengthens Organisation to Deliver on Reliability and Build Engineering Capabilities

1.    SMRT is strengthening its organisational structure and capabilities and developing its workforce, to meet the growing needs of an expanding rail network. As a public transport service company whose core is trains, SMRT’s primary focus will be on ensuring train operations are safe and reliable. 

2.    To this end, the SMRT Group will be reorganised into five main groups with Trains at its core. A new Engineering group will also be established to build deep engineering capabilities for Singapore’s expanding rail network. The remaining three groups are Roads, Experience (formerly called Commercial) and Corporate Services. SMRT has also set the following as its mission outcomes: network reliability, operational and financial sustainability, and continuous improvement of its processes and workforce. 

3.    SMRT Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Neo Kian Hong said: “SMRT is a public transport service provider. Our primary business is to manage and operate train services. The quality and reliability of our rail services will have an impact on the quality of life of Singaporeans. We plan to strengthen the organisation to meet the intended outcomes and stay focused on our core business which is Trains. We also need to grow our rail engineering capabilities and capacity to be ready for the future.”

4.    In close collaboration with the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the North-South and East-West Lines are halfway through their multi-year rail renewal programme. Replacement of the power rails, wooden sleepers and re-signalling works have been completed. The fourth project, which is the upgrade of the network’s power supply system commenced last month. The fifth project – the replacement of track circuits, will begin soon and the sixth – the replacement of the 66 first generation trains – will be done progressively from 2021 when the first of the new trains arrive.  SMRT will also be working closely with LTA on the multi-year renewal programme for the Bukit Panjang LRT network which will begin early 2019.

5.    The North-South Line’s reliability performance has improved. The Mean Kilometre Between Failures (MKBF) of more than five minutes rose from 89,000 train-km in 2017 to 734,000 train-km as of 30 September 2018. The East-West Line has just transited to the new signalling system a few months ago, and its reliability has started to see improvements as the system stabilises.

6.    As the organisation continues its push towards achieving the MKBF target of 1,000,000 train-km for each of its MRT lines by 2020, sustaining the progress made becomes key. Mr Neo said: “Engineering group will build up the O&M engineering, logistics and training capacities, and undertake the longer term new and renewal projects. It will also explore innovative technologies and processes that will bring SMRT to the cutting edge. Digitalising SMRT to have a connected workforce, harnessing data analytics that will drive knowledge creation, and developing the next generation of supply chain management will enable SMRT to leap into the future. We will pursue these and other efforts with like-minded partners and with LTA to develop a true local rail engineering capability. With the Engineering Group building capabilities, Trains Group will be able to pay singular attention to delivering train services daily without distraction.”  

7.    To sustain high performance in the face of continuous changes in the landscape, SMRT will embrace Continuous Improvement in our daily work, and further innovative efforts to future proof SMRT. An organisation-wide Continuous Improvement drive was launched in February 2018 to encourage staff to continually find ways to improve the way they work or their work environments for better efficiency and effectiveness. By end October 2018, there have been more than 400 Continuous Improvement projects registered across the Group, many of which focus on improving workflow processes and increasing productivity.

8.    Sharing his observations of the SMRT team after three months into the job, Mr Neo said: “Our people work very hard, sometimes under onerous conditions. We need to continue encouraging our workforce, and provide an environment which they are engaged and where they will excel. All in, we want to help our people to be good at delivering safe, reliable and comfortable journeys to our commuters. We are determined to regain public confidence and trust.” 

9.    Mr Neo met with the media at Kim Chuan Depot, where SMRT Trains’ new Trains Operations Hub is expected to be operational by 2019.