MR Ng Wei Hong, 29, is part of a team working hard to ensure that SMRT trains remain safe, reliable and comfortable for all passengers.

A maintenance engineer in the SMRT Rolling Stock (Trains) division, Mr Ng leads a team in monitoring the reliability of the train fleets on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL).

His day usually starts with the perusal of defect reports. If he spots any abnormal faults that may have occurred during the previous day, Mr Ng and his team will follow up on the outstanding issues.

His team of engineers carries out data analyses to identify any trends in train defects and propose improvement solutions.

They also conduct in-depth technical investigations on incidents or disruptions that occur along the NSEWL.

Mr Ng believes that the important qualities in his occupation include good problem-solving skills, a willingness to learn and improve, a positive attitude and the willingness to work in a team.

He is also part of several project teams at work, including one that is reviewing the procedures carried out to handle any defects in the trains.

The team, which comprises staff from the Rolling Stock and Rail Operations division, ensures that proper mitigation measures are used to expedite the recovery of defective trains and reduce any delays in train services.

One of Mr Ng’s most memorable moments at work was in 2015, when he was tasked to investigate an incident that occurred in the train depot.

Initially suspected to be caused by a human error, further troubleshooting and investigations discovered that the root cause was actually a technical defect.

He recalls: “I felt satisfied knowing that I found the root cause of the incident. It allowed us to rectify the defect accordingly, without putting the blame on anyone.”

Teamwork and training

What Mr Ng enjoys the most about his job is the sense of camaraderie at the workplace.

“My colleagues are very friendly and approachable, which makes us feel like one big family,” he says.

His supervisors are also willing to share their experiences and knowledge and provide guidance whenever he faces any challenges or difficulties.

That came in handy when Mr Ng initially faced some difficulty in understanding the operating principles and technical design of the various systems involved in the running of the entire train network.

In addition to the help he received from his supervisors and colleagues, Mr Ng says: “I also took it upon myself to read up on the technical manuals of the other systems in my free time.”

Mr Ng also appreciates how SMRT looks after the personal and professional development of its employees — for example, by developing training programmes to equip them with the right skills.

One such training programme is the SMRT Train Engineer Professionalisation (STEP) framework, a course that helped Mr Ng to better understand the fundamental engineering knowledge important to his work.

SMRT also collaborates with the University of Birmingham to provide its engineers with training in urban railway engineering. It also aims to help the engineers attain the Chartership in Railway and Transportation Engineering.

He says: “The company truly values its people on a personal level, and is willing to groom and develop them with the competencies to enhance their capabilities to perform their roles.”

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