SMRT’s Project Overwatch for Rail Reliability — What’s In It?
The reliability of Singapore’s mass rapid transit (MRT) network has improved significantly in the last few years. The Mean Kilometre between Failure (MKBF) for the overall MRT network has increased from 174,000 train-km in 2016 to 690,000 train-km in 2019 between delays. This improvement follows the steady progress of Singapore’s major infrastructure renewal projects, as well as the operators’ investments in improving maintenance procedures. SMRT Trains, a leading MRT operator in Singapore, is working on a new project to uplift rail reliability. Check out what that project is all about and how it will help Singaporeans.
SMRT’s Project Overwatch
SMRT launched Project Overwatch in October 2020. It is an in-house developed system to monitor train services on the Circle Line (CCL). Its web-based design gives train operation and control staff situation awareness and mobile access outside the Operations Control Centre (OCC).
Under Project Overwatch, SMRT staff uses software that triggers an alert when trains stop for longer than planned on their routes. Based on the evolving situation, the system alerts the OCC staff on potential train delays so that resources can be allocated to reduce any potential disruptions to commuters. With up-to-date information and situational awareness of on-ground activities, SMRT staff can quickly allocate resources and reduce potential disruptions.
The system will be expanded to other rail lines managed and operated by SMRT. Work is already in progress to roll out Project Overwatch to the OCCs at NSEWL and Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL).
SMRT’s Project Overwatch Won Award
At Land Transport Excellence Awards (LTEA) 2022 event, SMRT’s Project Overwatch was given the Most Innovative Solution Award.
A member of Project Overwatch, Mr. Mohammad Sami Tahir said that he is “very pleased to see that the hard work put in by [his] team has paid off with full-scale adoption by the Circle Line operations team”.
SMRT has also won awards in the following categories:
• Best Service Partner (Service Delivery)
• Most Innovative Solution
• Friend of Public Transport Award
• Most Innovative/Effective Safety Programme
• Best Community Inclusive Project
• Best Land Transport O&M Initiative (Merit Winner)
How Project Overwatch is Helping MRT and Singaporeans
SMRT’s AI solution developed under Project Overwatch now helps the Operations Control Centre to respond more swiftly to train traffic anomalies. SMRT staff gets help from video analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor train activities on mobile devicesremotely. It was first deployed on the Circle Line and will be deployed progressively in the remaining MRT lines.
Commenting on the same, SMRT CEO, Ngien Hoon Ping, said: “Through a strong partnership, sincere engagement, and efficient planning, we will continue to renew and re-engineer our railway infrastructure, train systems, and operations to achieve operational and service excellence.”
Ngien Hoon Ping further added: “Our other innovation is the Track Access Management System (TAMS). The system also uses AI to digitalise and automate track access allocation for regular maintenance and planning of engineering works.”
The Singaporean Government has made significant investments in our rail systems and will continue to do so. On the other hand, transport operators including SMRT are investing and working on innovative projects to keep up the momentum of rail reliability improvements.