The team at SGTrains regrets to hear that the Land Transport Authority has decided to hold the C651 Refurbishment works and C151 End-Of-Life (EOL) Upgrading works.
We feel that these projects should still proceed as they are already underway and will help solve the reliability problem faster than purchasing of replacement trains.
Replacement trains will require a long time to procure as these contracts needs to be tendered, evaluated and awarded before the train can be built. Trains are also not available off the shelf and require time to be built. As such, commuters may still need to put up with the unreliability for quite awhile until the new trains arrive.
The C151 EOL upgrading works involves upgrading of the motor which is done by reputable Japanese company Toshiba and J-TREC. These PMSM motors are widely used in Japan and are reputable for their high reliability, energy efficiency and low noise. As such we believe that the upgrading works will help to improve reliability of the propulsion system on the C151 and C651 trains.
Additionally, the LTA has already spent money on upgrading the old Signalling System on all the C151 trains to the new Signalling system. 2 of 66 C151 trains has also been upgraded with the new PMSM motors. As such, we feel that it is not cost effective for LTA to replace these trains since they are already partially upgraded.
Given the recent issue with the C151A trains, we feel that it will be better to refurbish these trains instead of replacing them. The C151 car bodies are in a very good condition and would be a waste should they be replaced this early. (Many trains in Japan survive beyond the age of our C151 trains.)
As such we appeal to LTA to reconsider to allow these projects to continue. Should they feel that it would be better for the trains to be replaced, they can do so for the future batches of trains which are not already undergoing upgrading works.