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Tue August 20 2019

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Singapore to build new centre for testing trains

24 Apr Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) is to build a train testing centre aimed at increasing the reliability of rail services.

The Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) will carry out systems testing for all new and existing MRT lines. It will be built on a 50ha site at the former Raffles Country Club site.

LTA will call a contract to design and build the ITTC over the next few months. This will comprise an endurance loop test track, a performance and integration loop test track, a straight high-speed test track and other supporting track facilities. Facilities such as offices, an operations control centre, a maintenance workshop and a refurbishment workshop will also be included in the scope of work. Construction of the ITTC is expected to start in mid-2020.

The ITTC will be equipped to test trains and other core railways systems - such as electrical, mechanical and signalling systems - around the clock, without affecting passenger services on the main lines. The LTA said that it is similar to testing centres in other countries with extensive rail networks, such as Germany, Korea and Japan.

The centre is intended to support ongoing efforts to renew, upgrade and expand the rail network. It is expected to enhance rail reliability, while freeing up limited engineering hours and reducing the need for line closures. The facility will start receiving trains for Circle Line 6 around end-2022.

Over time, the plan is for it to grow into a hub for LTA and the local rail industry to develop deeper operations and maintenance competencies and achieve engineering excellence. The facility will provide railway workers with training opportunities, giving them a first-hand understanding of the intricacies of new rail systems before they are deployed.

It will also be equipped with a rolling stock facility, so that it can be used for mid-life train refurbishment projects. The ITTC can also serve as a testing ground for the local rail industry to evaluate new railway infrastructure and develop proofs-of-concept, as well as conduct research and development into railway technologies.

 LTA deputy chief executive (infrastructure and development) Chua Chong Kheng said: “The ITTC allows for robust testing of our trains and integrated systems before they are deployed on operational lines. This approach frees up precious engineering hours for other activities, such as railway maintenance, and reduces the need for future early closures and late openings. In addition, LTA will be able to speed up the diagnosis and rectification of faults with the ITTC, as troubleshooting can now be done locally.”

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