Singapore

Software update for new MRT signalling system

A software update installed late yesterday evening is expected to address the "teething issues" that surfaced during tests of the new signalling system on the North-South MRT line (NSL), which led to disruptions for commuters.

Developed by French firm Thales, the contractor in charge of the resignalling project, the update is expected to improve both the alignment between train and platform screen doors and trackside-to-train communications. It is also expected to strengthen the signalling system's main server.

The software update has undergone "rigorous testing" in a simulated environment on the NSL and the Tuas West extension.

SHORTER INTERVALS

The new signalling system is to allow trains to run on a communications-based system instead of the older fixed block system. This will allow for trains to run at shorter intervals of 100 seconds, instead of 120 seconds currently.

At a press conference yesterday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that its engineers, rail operator SMRT and Thales will be on standby to "closely monitor" the transition during the software update and address any faults that may arise.

While it can take up to a year to stabilise, LTA's chief executive Ngien Hoon Ping said the new signalling system may be stable by the end of the year.- THE STRAITS TIMES

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