SMRT partners McLaren to monitor train performance

SMRT Trains has partnered McLaren Applied Technologies to incorporate condition-monitoring solutions which track and predict the performance of SMRT trains. The latter is part of the McLaren Group that includes the Formula 1 (F1) team, McLaren Racing and McLaren Automotive.

Such technology is commonly used aboard F1 race cars to provide vital information derived from highly specified and real-time data capture to the Formula 1 pit crews and mission control, the statement added.

Desmond Kuek, SMRT president and group CEO, said that McLaren’s motorsport technology will be adapted and installed on board proof-concept-trains later this year. When implemented fleet-wide, enhanced safety, reliability and comfort is expected for commuters on the rail network. The SMRT-McLaren Applied Technologies team will also work on customising condition-monitoring solutions to monitor the train motors, brakes, pneumatic systems and gearboxes fitted aboard one SMRT train.

"In Singapore, SMRT has been pioneering the development of rail condition-monitoring sensors to minimise disruption of our commuter service, optimising train performance by detecting and rectifying emerging defects early,” Kuek added.

"We are excited to take this first step in Singapore with SMRT, working together to adapt our proven motorsport technologies to optimise fleet performance and provide continuous improvements to the passenger experience,” Dick Glover, acting CEO, McLaren Applied Technologies, said.

The move comes amid a series of PR hiccups the company experienced over the past few months. In November last year, SMRT copped flak for its use the word “came into contact” to describe a train collision which saw around 28 commuter injuries. It was later criticised again for the tone it took when defending itself on social after fake news about its CEO Kuek emerged.

SMRT also saw a recent change of guard in its communications team, with head of corporate and marketing communications Margaret Teo taking over from Patrick Nathan, SMRT vice-president for corporate communications. Prior to the move, Nathan had been with SMRT for six years.