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Circle Line recabling completed

The Straits Times | Christopher Tan | Sunday, Feb 2, 2014

SINGAPORE - Transport operator SMRT expects fewer breakdowns on the Circle Line (CCL) after replacing all 120km of its power cables, which were blamed for several train disruptions two years ago.

The $15 million project, which saw the cables replaced with higher-grade and more water-resistant ones, was completed last month - six months ahead of schedule.

"It will raise the overall safety and reliability of the system," SMRT chief executive Desmond Kuek told The Straits Times on Wednesday.

"Following the CCL power failure in October 2012, SMRT made a strong commitment to the cable change-out programme. I am pleased that our hard work has paid off."

The bulk of the project's cost was borne by French systems contractor Alstom, which was responsible for laying the original cables.

Laid below the tracks, stretches of cables were said to be submerged in water for extended periods. That is because MRT tunnels are not watertight, and water that seeps into tunnels is periodically pumped out.

This caused the original cables to deteriorate faster, triggering power trips which led to a number of disruptions.

In one incident in October 2012, a power trip at Promenade station caused train services on the entire Circle Line to be disrupted for nearly an hour, affecting around 10,500 commuters.

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