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    Aug 21, 2014

    Faster speeds on N-S Line after track changes

    CLOSE to half of the works to replace sleepers on the North-South Line has been completed and commuters can look forward to faster travelling speeds from October or November.

    In a Facebook post yesterday, SMRT said it was gradually lifting the speed restrictions on the line, but trains will be back to normal speeds only by the middle of next year.

    The public transport operator has been replacing sleepers since 2012, as part of its efforts to upgrade its systems and infrastructure.

    When new sleepers, which hold the tracks in place, are fitted, they require time to settle on the ballast, or stones on which tracks are laid.

    For safety reasons, trains are restricted to slower speeds, of about 40kmh instead of the normal 78kmh, over newly-laid sleepers.

    Lee Ling Wee, managing director of SMRT Trains, wrote in the post that Singapore, unlike cities like London and Paris, cannot close segments of its rail systems for track renewal works.

    "We strive to work within the tight engineering window of four hours, between 1.30am and 5.30am," he said.

    While those travelling on the North-South Line have something to cheer about, commuters who use the East-West Line should be prepared for slower speeds soon.

    Similar works to replace sleepers will start on that line next year.