Trainspotting as a hobby is catching on here in Singapore. A local club, SGTrains Trainspotters, has seen a double in its membership since January 2011. What exactly is this hobby? As the name suggests, trainspotting involves watching trains for long period of time. An example of one of their activities includes spotting serial numbers on train cars. When the numbers do not run in sequence, the trainspotters know that certain carriages have been taken back to the depot for some sort of maintenance. According to the committee of SGTrains Trainspotters, SMRT relies on the club for feedback and helpful insights on ideas that can help improve the efficiency of the trains and commuters’ riding experiences. This club was recently awarded the Friend of the Land Transport Authority (LTA) Award in recognition of their significant contributions to Singapore’s land transport.
Well, it sure is nice to know that some really enthusiastic and free Singaporeans are willing to while their time away staring at trains and brainstorming ideas on ways to improve the trains and their efficiencies. No doubt it is great that LTA and SMRT are taking this club seriously and even going so far to award them, could it be that they are just using them as a platform or an avenue to prove that they want to “listen” to commuters and the average Singaporean? They are shooting themselves in the foot for even encouraging such a thing, and honestly, they are making themselves look so bad and inefficient. An independently formed club consisting trainwatching enthusiasts (sounds like Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory) comes in to the LTA scene to provide ideas for improvement is almost as good as telling Singaporeans that the SMRT engineers are sleeping and getting paid to do, well I don’t know what. And to think that LTA even awarded them! I cannot say for sure if this is just PR gone so so wrong or just LTA being plain naïve to let the average Singaporeans think that this new club is an example of how SMRT takes feedback from commuters seriously. Your choice Singaporeans.