Photo of crowd during train breakdown from Twitter

A SMRT-created advisory panel yesterday (Sep 22) told state media reporters that the numerous train faults resulting from glitches in the signalling system is not their fault. According to the SMRT advisory panel, railway systems overseas have equally devastating faults seen in Singapore but the panel was unable to give any example.

The panel selected by SMRT consists of nine “international and local rail experts”, including two professors from Hong Kong and United Kingdom. University of Birmingham Professor Clive Roberts told the Singapore state media that the pace of work, which SMRT said will only complete by 2018, is “adequate”:

“The pace of work here as adequate, if not a benchmark of a good practice. Still, he pointed out that having more than the current three and a half hours between revenue service, would help in maintenance and upgrading work.”

The SMRT-hired UK professor also came out with an excuse for SMRT:

“There’s obviously a trade-off here. You can shut the line for a week and you can get it all done very quickly, but that just doesn’t work as a solution in Singapore.”

Another SMRT-hired professor from Hong Kong claimed that his home country’s transport company, the Hong Kong’s MTR, took 9 months to “complete trial”. However the professor did not explain if Hong Kong’s MTR system saw similar disruptions the scale seen in Singapore, with train delays stretching as far as 6 hours and happening as frequently as twice a week.