Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Reader Response (Draft 1)


In the news release, Land Transport Authority (LTA) (2016) states that all trains are gradually sent for servicing and it also conducts severe testing of trains' safety as well as dependability. Regarding the battery problems, the website further explains that the manufacturer fix it promptly by changing the battery supplier as well as improving the design of the "battery housing". The website then assures that appropriate actions have been taken to get the manufacturer to rectify the draughtscreen problems, which are due to errors during the installation process. The news release also says that for the "hairline cracks", it is due to “localized impurity” during the manufacturing process and all these problems would not affect the operational safety of the trains. According to the website, LTA will return defected trains to the factory in China to exchange the entire "car body shell" and it assures that periodic inspections will be conducted to ensure commuters’ safety. While I agree with this to some extent, I feel that the news release is incomplete and fails to consider several aspects that may cause the defects on the train which will affect the safety of the commuters.

The first reason that makes the news release incomplete is because it only says that the hairline cracks are due to “localised impurities” during manufacturing process even though there are other aspects that may cause the hairline cracks. According to F.Hao (2016), aged rail infrastructure, inappropriate maintenance and various weather condition could all cause defects to the trains. These may be possible causes of the hairline cracks. However, the website did not address these aspects. In this manner, the news release could leave reader with only a partial understanding causing it to be not just incomplete, but misleading.

The second reason that makes the news release incomplete is because the news release only says that the cause of cracks at the draughtscreen are due to errors during installation process. In my opinion, overcrowded trains may cause the cracks on the draughtscreen because when the train is full, the standing commuters’ tend to lean against the draughtscreens and the force exerted can cause the draughtscreens to crack.  It should consider the maximum capacity and laden weight per load of the train. Once the train reach the maximum capacity and laden weight per load, commuters’ shall not board the train. In addition, sign shall be placed on the draughtscreen to inform the commuters not to lean against it.

In conclusion, although the entire "car body shell" of the trains are going to be replaced, if there is still overcrowding in the train and maximum capacity as well as laden weight per load is neglected, new cracks on the draughtscreen will be formed. If this problem persist, it may break the draughtscreens. Thus, this will affect the commuters’ safety.

References:   

LTA. (2016). Trains on the north-south and east-west lines for service Retrieved July 6, 2016 from https://www.lta.gov.sg/apps/news/page.aspx?c=2&id=0f8b1220-0289-4bef-99c9b2455f17a66c#_ftn1

Nan. Z. (2016, July 7). Our trains in Singapore are safe, says firm behind China-made MRT trains News Asia One. Retrieved from http://news.asiaone.com/news/transport/our-trains-singapore-are-safe-says-firm-behind-china-made-mrt-trains

Revised on 26 September 2016.

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