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Irresponsible Cost-Cutting by SMRT the Cause of Train Failures

If I am not wrong, from what I observed, most train faults occured on the C151 trains, which are built between 1986 – 1989, which means the trains are between 25 to 28 years old.

Here is a look at all of the most recent breakdowns we have had:

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In 2004, SMRT made a decision then to save money, and instead of purchasing new trains to replace these old trains, SMRT chose to refurbish the interior of the trains and RETAINING the engine components which were already closed to 20 years old.

I personally believe the decision to retain the ageing engine components and ageing trains contribute to most of the disruptions caused by train faults. (Perhaps that’s why the COI recommended SMRT to replace certain components of the trains as a result of the 2011 December major disruptions.)

The ageing platform screen doors (at old underground stations) are also giving much issues from what I observed, it always can’t close properly, resulting in trains being delayed as they have to continuously open and close the doors till it’s “error free” before it can move off.

SMRT, please look into this and not repeat history of waiting for “something to happen” before acting on it.

Singapore sees many more train breakdowns than other developed countries. Countries such as Japan which have had extensive train systems much longer than Singapore don’t have the same problems because they have more robust maintenance and replacement schedules.

It is really despicable that SMRT raised fares while at the same time cut costs so that they could gain more profits. In the end commuters lose out because of the regular breakdowns.

This letter was written by Ben Lee.
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