In the wee hours of Friday morning (13th November), 500 workers were at work replacing rail sleepers – pieces of wood that support the rails on a train track – along the East West Line.

This comes amidst a massive infrastructural renewal push by SMRT.

According to SMRT, there are a total of 92,000 timber sleepers along the East West Line. A total of 188,000 sleepers were installed in the 1980s and now they are at the end of their lifespan. They will be swapped out for concrete sleepers.

14% of the work has been completed, SMRT told reporters, and the company targets to complete all the replacement works by the end of 2016. This would help make train services more “reliable”.

Work along the North South Line was finished in April this year, with 96,000 sleepers replaced.

“What we’re doing now is a pre-emptive change before they reach the end of life,” said SMRT’s programme director for track and infrastructure, Mr Roger Lim.”They’re still in a very good working condition, so it has no relation to any disruption in the past.”

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