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Singapore’s rail system is improving in reliability, says Transport Minister

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced that Singapore’s rail network has achieved a new level of reliability.

Speaking at the Joint Forum on Infrastructure Maintenance on 2nd November, Mr Khaw said that the system recorded an overall 660,000 train-km between delays between January and September of this year, surpassing last year’s distance of 180,000 train-km.

This, Mr Khaw said, was about two-thirds of the targeted 1 million train-km between delays which they hope to achieve by 2020. He also said that the North-East and Downtown lines have already crossed the 1 million mark. The Circle, North-South, and East-West lines are still catching up.

The measure reliability simply calculates the distance travelled between before a train is delayed for more than five minutes. The longer the distance travelled between delays, the higher the reliability.

Mr Khaw also added that once the target is reached, the Ministry is not likely to raise the standards but instead work to maintain the standard instead once the system is up to an acceptable level of reliability.

He explained also that there were still three major asset renewal programmes that are yet to be completed. These include replacing the power system, track circuits and first-generation trains.

He said, “Any lapse in execution and we will lose the public confidence that we have painstakingly rebuilt," he said. "We must remain focused on our mission, to move commuters in a safe and reliable manner."

In 2017, CNN ranked Singapore’s rail system as one of the best in the world alongside cities like London, Tokyo, and Paris. Their only complaint was the lack of EZ-link ticket card machines which causes lengthy lines of people waiting to top up or buy a ticket.