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MRT breakdowns: Get a competent foreign rail company in as operator

MRT breakdowns: Get a competent foreign rail company in as operator
Engineers work to clear a flooded tunnel between Braddell and Bishan MRT stations. SCDF said that at approximately 11am on Sunday, the water in the tunnels had been completely cleared. Photo: LTA

MRT breakdowns: Get a competent foreign rail company in as operator

My letter was published in May last year, where I suggested that Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation could be allowed to enter Singapore’s rail market, to help improve rail reliability here or take over some of the operations.

Since then, Singapore’s MRT system continues to face disruptions and breakdowns, and the latest major one was what happened on the North-South Line on October 7 due to flash floods.

It may be time to seriously consider engaging a competent foreign rail operator as a partner or player.

Perhaps, a foreign operator such as MTR may take over one or two important and heavily used lines that pass through Singapore’s financial districts including Raffles Place and City Hall.

MTR operates and owns railways in various cities including Melbourne, London and Stockholm, and it has an excellent operation record, with trains arriving on schedule 99.9 per cent of the time.