Singapore

SMRT explains why all-day weekday signalling tests are necessary

All-day performance checks of the new signalling system on the North-South Line are necessary to "work out teething issues", rail operator SMRT said in a blog post yesterday.

The communications-based train control signalling system allows trains to run closer together and arrive at intervals of up to 100 seconds during peak hours, instead of 120 seconds currently.

The checks were first conducted during off-peak hours in March and progressed to all-day weekday testing last month.

"As there are limited engineering hours each day (from 1.30am to 4.30am), it is not possible for us to accumulate adequate testing hours if we do not run the new signalling system during weekdays," said the rail operator.

The issues faced by the North-South Line, including recent delays, could potentially resurface when the Tuas West Extension (TWE) opens on June 18.

The TWE will operate on the new signalling system, which may result in problems such as delays between stations, train carriages stopping slightly longer at platforms and the platform screen doors and train doors not opening promptly.

However, Mr Siu Yow Wee, director of station operations, is confident that these issues will be handled well.

"LTA, SMRT and the engineers from (signalling system supplier) Thales are working very closely, with all hands on deck, so that we can respond quickly to any situation that may arise," he said. - THE STRAITS TIMES

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