3rd MRT rail clip found dislodged near Ang mo Kio
Feb 17, 2012
By Lin zhaowei
Another dislodged rail clip has been found below an MRT viaduct - the third in a week.
This 10cm, palm-sized metal piece was found a few hundred metres from Ang Mo Kio station along Ang mo Kio Avenue 8, near a jogging track in the space below the viaduct.
But train operator SMRT said its checks did not turn up any clip missing from the track near where it was found.
These rail clips are supposed to secure the MRT rail to the wooden plank under it.
Now, I don't want to be an alarmist here, and I'm certainly no expert on railroad safety, but this article gives me the chills. The rail clips that have been reported in the news are those that have come off and that were flung off the viaduct onto the ground. These reports are about the damage what we KNOW.
what about the damage that we don't know? How many other rail clips have been dislodged from the MRT rail tracks and did NOT get flung off the viaduct onto the ground? For every rail clip that the public discovers on the ground, there could be dozens more rail clips that have been dislodged and that dld not make it off the viaduct. And how about all the rail clips that came off in the MRT underground tunnels that nobody would have discovered? This is the elephant in the room that nobody seems to be talking about in the media and that LTA seems to be making no efforts to address.
on top of that, the SMRT executives seem to be clueless. Apparently, "train operator SMRT said its checks did not turn up any clip missing from the track near where it was found." So the clip came off the track a distance a way and was carried all the way to Ang mo Kio and SMRT has no idea where it came from? Either that or it knows where it came from but is not telling us?
And then, we have SMRT giving us the "black swan" argument after the first incident:
After the first incident, an SMRT spokesperson was quoted as saying that it is "very rare" for a broken clip to drop off and that SMRT has encountered three other incidents in the last four years.this is a similar argument as the one that PUB gave the public after the floods incident. PUB said the flood was a "freak" occurence that happens only once every 50 years. And then the floods kept happening again and again. After SMRT makes the above statement, the rail clips suddenly pop up again and again.
I take the MRT to and from work everyday and I shudder at what would happen if the MRT tracks somehow come dislodged, throwing a train off the tracks or to a sudden halt. or even if the rail clip gets caught in the wheels of a train and causes the train to malfunction? Hundreds, if not thousands of people could be seriously hurt if not killed.
Seriously, SMRT, get your act together here. Do we need people to get killed before you wake up?