Swede leads expert group investigating MRT Singapore disruption

On July 7, 2015 Singapore’s MRT public transportation suffered a 3.5 hour massive breakdown. Train service on the North South East West Lines (NSEWL) was disrupted in the evening due to a power fault. As a consequence the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is carrying out a full investigation into the cause of this incident.

A team comprising five experts from Parsons Brinckerhoff and Japan’s Meidensha Corporation has been brought on board to conduct an independent assessment of the overall condition of the power supply infrastructure and other railway trackside installations along the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL).


The Swede Mats Önner from Parsons leads this team of experts, focusing on identifying the root cause of the power trip and proposing areas for improvement to prevent recurrence. They are also reviewing the current condition of the power supply and trackside installations, and will provide recommendations to enhance the overall system and its maintenance.

LTA gives the team full access to the infrastructure and installations along the NSEWL during non-service hours. The team of experts, closely assisted by engineers from LTA and SMRT, will also be analysing the data collated by LTA and SMRT engineers since the incident.

Parsons and Meidensha were selected for their wealth of experience in railway engineering and power supply system.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is an established design and engineering company with extensive experience in rail transit system, ranging from feasibility studies, project management to providing advice on operations and maintenance. Parsons is no stranger to Singapore’s rail lines, having undertaken the role of consultant for mechanical services on the NSEWL, as well as the electrical and mechanical services on the North East Line, Circle Line and Downtown Line.

Free-Travel-MRT-logoThe Parsons team is complemented by a traction power expert from Meidensha, a Tokyo-based company with extensive experience in power supply. Having designed and installed the power supply system on the NSEWL, Meidensha brings with it an intimate understanding of the running of this system. The company is also the contractor providing the power supply system for the northern stretch of the Thomson-East Coast Line.

The independent assessment is expected to be completed in August.

About Joakim Persson

Freelance business and lifestyle photojournalist

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