Joint LTA-Operator Exercise to Ensure Operational Readiness in Managing Rail Incidents
Joint News Release Issued by LTA, SBS Transit and SMRT
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) conducted a joint ground deployment exercise with rail operators SBS Transit (SBST) and SMRT at Outram Park MRT station today. Codenamed ‘Exercise GREYHOUND 2023’, the exercise was conducted during engineering hours this morning and plays a key role in our ongoing efforts to maintain a high level of operational readiness in managing major incidents in the public transport network. Exercise GREYHOUND has been conducted annually since its inauguration in 2012, with the exception of 2020, due to COVID-19.
Around 300 personnel from LTA, SBST, SMRT participated in the exercise which commenced at 12am. The exercise aimed to validate the response of public transport operators during a multi-line train service disruption and their ability to adopt an integrated and coordinated approach to incident management. Senior Minister of State for Transport Dr Amy Khor observed the exercise along with representatives from Go-Ahead Singapore, Tower Transit Singapore, Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force. As part of LTA’s public outreach and education efforts to ensure emergency preparedness, 30 students from the Institute of Technical Education College West were also invited to observe the exercise for the first time.
During the exercise, LTA, SBST and SMRT personnel simulated a multi-line train service disruption at Outram Park MRT station due to a traction power fault at the Thomson-East Coast Line Outram Park MRT station and a track fault at the North East Line Outram Park MRT station.
In response to these scenarios, SBST and SMRT activated their train service disruption plans, which included the activation of free bridging bus services between affected stations. Station staff were deployed onsite to direct commuters to the unaffected East-West Line and designated bridging bus points. LTA and the operators also simulated the dissemination of situational updates to commuters through station and in-train announcements, including the utilisation of both physical and digital displays to improve the wayfinding experience for affected commuters.
As the exercise coordinator, LTA assessed the public transport operators’ contingency plans in managing the train service disruptions, their incident reporting and management processes, as well as their plans for bridging bus services, as well as managing affected stations and bus stops. Overall, we observed that operators were well prepared and had trained their staff well to handle such scenarios. LTA will conduct a detailed review and share our observations with the operators subsequently to allow key learnings to be incorporated into their train disruption plans.
LTA's Chief Executive Mr Ng Lang said, “Even as we ramp up our efforts to improve rail reliability, we need to stay vigilant and ensure our operators are always prepared to handle rail disruptions. Such ground deployment exercises provide us with the opportunity to test our response plans, ensure a well-coordinated response by our operators in recovering train services that minimises inconvenience to commuters.”
Mr Jeffrey Sim, Group Chief Executive Officer of SBS Transit said, "Such ground deployment exercises are instrumental in honing our staff's ability to respond to emergencies and provide us with a valuable opportunity to assess and adjust our contingency plans where necessary. We are also taking this opportunity to test new technologies, such as a bridging bus route navigation app for Bus Captains, and digital display panels at stations to enhance wayfinding and provide updates on alternative transport arrangements for passengers. This will enable us to minimise the inconvenience caused to passengers in the unfortunate event of a rail disruption.”
Mr Lam Sheau Kai, President, SMRT Trains said, “The safety and well-being of our commuters are our topmost priority. This joint exercise by LTA, SMRT and SBST provides an invaluable opportunity for us to collectively maintain our operational readiness and enhance our preparedness in managing complex rail incidents. We leverage technology to enable our operational staff to execute smooth ground operations and quick response, as well as enhance our dissemination of information so that our commuters are kept informed of alternate travel plans and are able to continue with their journeys.”