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Singapore LTA’s asset management strategies: Predictive maintenance by 2020 [free access]

March 1, 2018

Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) is undertaking pioneering initiatives in the area of asset management for the rapid transit systems (RTS) in Asia. Over the last one year, the LTA has been transitioning from the practice of preventive maintenance to the full adoption of predictive maintenance by 2020.


At the January 2018 conference on “Asset Management for Urban Rail Systems APAC 2018” organised by Global Mass Transit in Singapore, Mr Wong Wai Keong, Group Director – Rail Assets, Operations & Maintenance Group, Singapore LTA, spoke about the impact of the New Rail Financing Framework (NRFF) on asset management, LTA’s asset management policy and plans for predictive maintenance. This feature is based on his presentation and GMT respectfully acknowledges his contribution to the information provided.


LTA’s asset base


Singapore RTS comprises five mass rapid transit (MRT) lines and two light rail transit (LRT) lines.


The MRT lines are:


The LRT lines are:


Table 1 describes the assets under the RTS.


Table 1: LTA’s RTS assets



No. of stations


No. of depots


No. of crossings and points


No. of rolling stock cars (MRT and LRT)


No. of lifts & escalators


Environment Control System (ECS) equipment


Communications, signalling, train control and various mechanical and electrical equipment in stations and depots


Source: Singapore LTA


NRFF business model


Under the previous financing framework, rail operators owned operating assets and were responsible for the procurement, replacement and upgrade of these assets. Because the operators were bearing full financial risk, they were likely to be overly cautious in undertaking investment in capacity expansion, replacement and upgrade works.


Under the NRFF, LTA will take ownership of all operating assets from the operators and lease them as per requirements. The operators will follow a rigorous set of asset management requirements (AMR) to maintain the assets in proper condition. In addition, the licence period for new rail lines (starting from the Downtown Line) will be shortened to about 15 years from 30-40 years currently.


The operator will pay a fee to the LTA for the right to operate the vehicle for revenue service. The total amount received by the LTA will be pooled together in a railway sinking fund, which will be used to replace and acquire operating equipment such as trains and signalling systems. 


LTA’s asset management policy


Singapore LTA aims to provide safe, secure, resilient and reliable land transport services.  To achieve this goal, it focuses on developing life cycle strategies and maintenance plan.


While the asset is being built or renewed, LTA develops information standards, database and information systems. During the operations and maintenance (O&M) stage, LTA optimises maintenance through predictive, condition-based, and risk-based assessment.


Figure 1 describes the asset management framework.


Figure 1: Singapore LTA’s asset management framework





Source: Singapore LTA


Asset management strategies


LTA’s asset management strategies include asset condition monitoring, reliability-centred maintenance, risk-based analysis, decision support systems, life cycle management and asset management plans.


Figure 2 describes LTA’s asset management strategies, initiatives and the expected outcomes.


Figure 2: LTA’s asset management strategies, initiatives and the expected outcomes




Source: Singapore LTA


Condition monitoring: Table 2 lists the technologies for condition monitoring by type of critical assets.  


Table 2: Condition monitoring technology by type of critical assets



Rolling stock

  • Wheel Impact Load Detectors (WILD)
  • Charge Coupled Device (CCD) Detection
  • Operating data from key sub-systems on-board (such as door, pneumatic system, etc.)
  • Automatic Vehicle Inspection (AVI)
  • Train sensors for vibration and noise

Signalling/ Platform Screen Doors (PSD)

  • Point machine
  • Track circuit
  • Power Spectral Density (PSD)

Permanent way

  • MFV
  • Linear Variable Differential Transformer (LVDT )/ Rail Vision
  • Automatic track inspection (ATI)
  • All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) with LiDAR
  • Revenue train sensors


  • Data Log (manual)
  • Overhead contact system (OCS)/Third rail
  • Intake transformer
  • 66 kV / 22 kV switchgear
  • 750 V DC switchgear
  • Service and traction transformer
  • Double converter/inverter
  • Traction positive power feeder cables
  • Batteries and UPS


  • Provision of communication link for remote condition monitoring
  • Wi-Fi in depot
  • Provision of network management system (NMS) for communications system and power supply

Integrated Supervisory Control System (ISCS)

  • Hardware usage rack operating temperature
  • Timetables Information Service (TTIS)/LEDD library download through depot Wi-Fi

Source: Singapore LTA


Risk-based analysis: The operator needs to identify asset criticality to conduct risk-based analysis and decide about asset renewal or replacement. 


Figure 3 provides the asset criticality matrix used by the LTA.


Figure 3: Asset criticality matrix used by Singapore LTA




Source: Singapore LTA


Rail Enterprise Asset Management System (REAMS): It will integrate and monitor asset information across all rail lines in a single system. It will allow the LTA to perform trend analysis and fault prediction such that faults can be detected early and addressed before potential disruptions.   


The core functions of REAMS are data and analytics (including predictive algorithms, engineering models as well as mathematical and statistical models), maintenance management (including planning and scheduling, tracking of records and data, data warehouse, inventory management, retirement and disposal, etc.), resource management (including life cycle costing models, finances and budget), asset renewal management (including overhaul, replacement, retirement and renewal), and performance management (using GIS, reports and dashboard).


Figure 4 provides details of the REAMS planned by the LTA.


Figure 4: REAMS planned by Singapore LTA



Source: Singapore LTA


Life cycle management: Asset condition trending and assessment will be used for life cycle management. LTA plans to undertake condition assessment through condition indexing that will derive the degradation curve and also enable work bank planning. This will enable LTA to make an effective asset renewal strategy and plan for 15-30 years.   


Figure 5 provides example of an asset degradation curve.


Figure 5: Example of an asset degradation curve



Source: Singapore LTA


Current status and future plans

LTA took over all operating assets from the SMRT Corporation on October 1, 2016. SMRT is Singapore’s iconic multi-modal public transport operator and celebrated its 30 years of mass rapid transit (MRT) service in 2017. It operates MRT, light rail transit (LRT), bus, taxi and private vehicles.


LTA received ISO 55001 certification for the Northeast Line (NEL) in December 2017. It is now working towards receiving certification for other lines as well.


Prior to NRFF, LTA was focused on preventive maintenance. From 2017 onwards, it is focusing on reliability-centred maintenance and condition monitoring. Condition monitoring includes use of sensors to collect and record operating parameters, diagnose failure modes and enable data trending to trigger automatic alarms for preventing failures. Reliability-centred maintenance involves optimisation of maintenance using failure mode, effects and criticality analysis (FMECA) and reliability data. It determines the type of maintenance (time-based, condition-based, etc.) as well as the content and frequency of maintenance tasks. 


In 2018, LTA plans to begin using data analytics and prognostic algorithms to develop REAMS based on predictive maintenance and higher service reliability. For REAMS, LTA will utilise life cycle and predictive modelling tools as well as five-year asset renewal forecasts. This will allow it to allocate long term budgets for maintenance. In May 2017, Singapore LTA invited bids to supply REAMS.


From 2020 onwards, LTA plans to fully adopt condition-based and predictive maintenance. Condition based maintenance will be used to execute maintenance actions when needed. LTA will monitor condition parameters in real-time and deploy prognostics and data analytics to analyse failure incidents and operating parameters.


Table 3 describes LTA’s plans for asset management.


Table 3: LTA’s plans for asset management



Phase 1: Setting up the asset management system

  • ISO 55001 certification based on Northeast Line’s (NEL) asset management system, followed by other rapid transit lines 
  • Obtained ISO 55001 certification based on NEL in December 2017 

2016 – 2017

Phase 2: Deploying initiatives for predictive maintenance and higher reliability

  • Establish condition-based measurement indices for condition-based monitoring 
  • Develop rail enterprise asset management system (REAMS) 
  • Develop life cycle and predictive modelling tools for all asset types 
  • Develop five-year asset renewal forecasts and long term budgets 

2018 – 2019

Phase 3: Maturing LTA’s asset management system

  • Expand use of condition-based and risk-based maintenance regime and renewal planning to beyond five years 
  • Commission IT/EAMS systems for other rapid transit lines 
  • Undertake value-for-money reviews through life cycle cost studies 

2020 and beyond

Source: Singapore LTA




The conference provided a platform to discuss the development and implementation of asset management strategies and plans; assessment of whole life costs; data capture and analysis for decision making; investment need prioritisation; asset management change programmes; audits and evaluation, and the use of technology.


The speakers included policymakers, transit executives, transit managers, rolling stock manufacturers, technology providers and consultants. There were two sponsors – Bentley Systems and DB Engineering & Consulting GmbH. Information was provided on certifications and standards, data management and decision making tools, best practices, as well as key issues and challenges in planning and implementing asset management.


The Second Annual Conference on Asset Management for Urban Rail Systems APAC is planned to be held in 2019 in Singapore. Please contact Global Mass Transit for further details and interest in speaking and sponsorship opportunities!