Panel to review MRT, LRT power supply

THE power supply system of the entire MRT and LRT network will receive a thorough health check by next month.

In a first for the rail network, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has appointed an Independent Advisory Panel to study the power system's resilience.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the panel will look into all recent power-related disruptions, identify potential system gaps and determine the timing for the next upgrade.

The 13-member panel comprises industry experts from Hong Kong's MTR Corporation, Japan's Meidensha Corporation and Germany's Siemens, along with academics from the Singapore University of Technology and Design, National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University. There are also representatives from SBS Transit, SMRT, LTA, the Energy Market Authority and Empower Engineering Services.

The LTA said the panel will be briefed on the existing power supply system and will make site visits to understand the current structure, equipment and maintenance regime.

LTA's chief executive Chew Men Leong said he was confident that the panel's recommendations will help LTA determine the necessary actions to minimise power-related incidents and enhance overall reliability.

The worst MRT breakdown to date on July 7 was power-related - an intermittent tripping of the power system at multiple locations crippled both the North-South and East-West Lines.

Lock Kai Sang, a panel member and adjunct professor at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, said the panel brings together "diverse backgrounds and complementary competencies" to spot weaknesses and find solutions.

The review will cost $300,000, and is scheduled to be completed by end January.

Separately, the LTA will also set up a standing Expert Audit Panel, with members drawn from German, Hong Kong and Japanese rail operators.

"They will visit us regularly, examine the reliability of our rail system and help us achieve excellence in rail operations and maintenance," said Mr Khaw.

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