Saturday, 10 December 2016

Reader Response (Draft 4)

In a news release, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) (2016) stated regarding recent problems that all 26 North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) trains were gradually sent for servicing and it also conducted severe testing of trains safety as well as dependability. Addressing the battery problems, the news release further explained that the manufacturer fixed the problems promptly by changing the battery supplier as well as improving the design of the "battery housing". It was stated in the news release that appropriate actions had been taken to get the manufacturer to rectify the draughtscreen problems, which were due to errors during the installation process. The news release also reported that the "hairline cracks" were due to “localized impurity” during the manufacturing process, and all these problems would not affect the operational safety of the trains. According to the same news release, the LTA would return defected trains to the factory in China to exchange the entire "car body shell" and it assured that periodic inspections would be conducted to ensure commuters’ safety. While the article provides lots of details on what have been done in order to solve defects problems, I feel that the LTA’s fails to consider several aspects that may cause defects on trains which could also affect their operational safety.

The first reason that the LTA’s fails to consider several aspects that may cause defects on trains which could also affect their operational safety is that it only considered that the hairline cracks were due to “localized impurities” during manufacturing process even though there are other aspect that may cause the hairline cracks.  According to Hao (2016), different weather condition could cause defects to trains. For example, during heavy downpour, the rain water pressure exerted onto the train may cause hair line cracks. However, the LTA’s does not address the analysis of the defects. In this manner, the LTA’s could leave reader with only a partial understanding causing it to be incomplete.

The second reason that the LTA’s fails to consider several aspects that may cause defects on trains which could also affect their operational safety is that it only stated that the cause of cracks at the draughtscreen were due to errors during installation process. In my opinion, overcrowded train may cause the cracks on the draughtscreen too. The Kawasaki Heavy Industries & CSR Sifang (2016) stated that the capacity for seated and standing passengers are 296 and 1624 respectively. However, according to Tan (2016), train ridership rose up to 4.2% from 2014 to 2015. In addition, according to” LTA Strategic Planning,” (2016), at 6.15pm, there were an average of 179 000 of train rider, which shows clearly that the train were overloaded. When the train is overloaded, standing commuters’ tend to lean against the draughtscreens and the force exerted could eventually cause the draughtscreens to crack. According to Chew (2015), one of the draughtscreens on MRT train shattered. In my opinion, it is possible for the same thing to happen again. Therefore, the analysis of the defects would be more complete if it had considered the train’s maximum capacity and laden weight per load that could be the cause of the cracks.

In conclusion, while the LTA’s only discussed on what had been done in order to solve the defect problems, it should also considered on analysis on the defects such as different weather condition as well as the maximum capacity and laden weight per load. Although the entire "car body shell" of the trains were going to be replaced, if the other aspects are being neglected, new cracks on the draughtscreen would be formed. If this problem persists in a long term, it may break the draughtscreens. Thus, this would affect the operational safety of the trains'.

References:

Chew. H.M (2016). Glass side panel on SMRT train shatters. The Straits Times. Retrieved September 29, 2016 from  http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/glass-side-panel-on-smrt-train-shatters-no-one-injured

Land Transport Authority. (2016). Trains on the north-south and east-west lines for services. Retrieved September 22, 2016 fromhttps://www.lta.gov.sg/apps/news/page. aspx?c=2&id=0f8b1220-0289-4bef-99c9b2455f17a66c#_fth1

Nan. Z. (2016). Our trains in Singapore are safe, says firm behind China-made MRT trains. News Asia One. Retrieved September 22, 2016 fromhttp://news.asiaone.com/news/transport/our-trains-singapore-are-safe-says-firm-behind-china-made-mrt-trains

SG Trains. (2016). Kawasaki Heavy Industries & CSR Qingdao Sifang C151A (KSF). Retrieved September 29, 2016 from http://www.sgtrains.com/train-c151a.html#design

Tan. C. (2016). Bus-and-train-ridership-hits-new-high. The Straits Times. Retrieved September 29, 2016 fromhttp://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/bus-and-train-ridership-hits-new-high

The Straits Times (2009). CSR Sifang and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Won the Bid in the Subway Vehicle Project of Singapore. Retrieved September 29, 2016 from http://www.csrgc.com.cn/ens/xwzx/2009-05-13/1277.shtml


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