Photo of Khaw Boon Wan from CNA

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has asked for 7 more years to complete “overhaul” of the North-South and East-West Lines, and asked Singaporeans to wait until 2024. Speaking to media reporters at the Bishan Depot today (Sep 12), Minister Khaw Boon Wan promised “vast improvements” and “quantum improvements” in the next two years:

“The ongoing overhaul of the ageing North-South East-West Lines will be fully completed by 2024. Commuters are expected to experience vast improvements in reliability by 2019, as projects to replace the core systems of the two lines are ticked off… Each time you replace a core system, there will be a quantum improvement.”

Minister Khaw Boon Wan also came out with his own statistics claiming that train services have already seen major improvements:

“This can be seen in the improvement in reliability for the North-South Line ahead of the East-West Line, as the North-South Line was upgraded first. This is captured in the mean kilometre between failure (MKBF) measurement, which counts delays of more than five minutes. The North-South Line registered a better 291,000 train-km in the first quarter of 2017, while the East-West Line stood at 215,000 train-km… With a newer and more robust design, power faults related to the third rail can be minimised and overall reliability of the North-South and East-West Lines will improve.”

The PAP Minister then recycled his Parliament speech he made a day earlier:

“We are half-way there. The cup is half-full, and the data shows it. Next year, we will fill it up some more.”

Minister Khaw also told Singaporeans to “bear with us” as the East-West Line will start seeing disruptions from an untested signalling system software:

“There will be some delays for East-West Line commuters when testing starts, please bear with us.”