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Upgrading of escalators at MRT stations to be completed by end-2021: SMRT

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Commuters can look forward to newer and more energy efficient escalators at MRT stations as SMRT will be refurbishing escalators at 42 stations along the North-South East-West Lines (NSEWL).

COMMUTERS can look forward to newer and more energy efficient escalators at MRT stations as SMRT will be refurbishing escalators at 42 stations along the North-South East-West Lines (NSEWL).

This is the first major refurbishment of escalators at stations since the MRT began operations in 1987 and is part of SMRT's multi-year, multi-programme efforts to improve the travel experience for commuters on the NSEWL, the transport operator on Tuesday said.

Work has started at Ang Mo Kio MRT station. It will begin at Tanah Merah MRT station later this month and Tanjong Pagar MRT station in November 2016.

The refurbishment, which includes installation of new parts such as traction motors and "traffic lights" indicating the direction of travel, will take eight to 10 weeks per escalator to complete.

To minimise inconvenience to commuters, SMRT said refurbishment work will be carried out on only one escalator at a time at each station.

Lee Ling Wee, managing director for SMRT Trains, said: "Many of the escalators used by North-South East-West Line commuters are nearly 30 years old. The refurbishment is timely as it will allow us to change out the old parts and install the latest technology in escalator motors, safety systems and energy efficiency. These include visual indicators that alert commuters of the end of the escalator and more reliable components that ensure downtime for maintenance will be kept to a minimum."

The project, which has been contracted to Otis Singapore for S$47.3 million, will have a total 233 escalators at 42 out of the 54 MRT stations along the NSEWL being refurbished. The upgrade is expected to be completed by end-2021.