Joint News Release by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), IRSE & IES - Strengthening Signalling Capability to Enhance Rail Reliability

News Releases 01 Dec 2017 signalling conference ASPECT 2017 rail reliability

Biannual Signalling Conference ASPECT 2017
Held in Singapore for the First Time

1.  For the first time ever, the biannual signalling conference, Automation, Signalling, Performance, Equipment, Control, Communications, or ASPECT, is being held outside of the United Kingdom. The ASPECT Singapore 2017, which takes place from 27 November to 1 December 2017, is jointly organised by the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers (IRSE), the Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES), and supported by event partners the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Singapore Rail Academy (SGRA).

2.  During the five-day conference, a total of 49 speakers delivered lectures and presented papers that drove discussion on a broad range of topics, from metro technologies and systems and their performance and optimisation, to professional development of engineers, and signalling elements and asset management. Over 240 delegates from 24 countries gathered to discuss and review the challenges they faced in improving capacity and reliability of train systems, such as those associated with upgrading to the Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) system. They also discussed the role of engineers and efforts to identify and intensify training and development opportunities for the future.

3.  LTA’s Deputy Chief Executive (Infrastructure & Development), Mr Chua Chong Kheng said: “The cross-sharing of technological evolution and operational best practices in ensuring signalling reliability at the ASPECT conference will help play a role in improving rail reliability and performance. It will also help bring Singapore closer towards its vision of having 75% of all peak hour journeys made on public transport.”

4.  The IRSE and IES also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to foster the development of training and education courses in the fields of train control and communications. The partners will work together to produce joint publications which include best practices, and will also collaborate to explore the adoption of IRSE Licensing, a system of formal competency assessment for railway signal engineers.

5.  Chief Executive of the IRSE, Mr Francis How said: “IRSE decided to hold ASPECT in Singapore due to our strong Sections in Singapore and other countries in the region such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia. We also wanted delegates to benefit from a deeper understanding of the exciting developments in railways in this region. This event is the perfect backdrop for the signing of the MOU between the IRSE and the IES, and we look forward to working closely together to deliver professional development opportunities in Singapore.

6.  “IES is excited and privileged to enter into a collaborative partnership with IRSE. It will strengthen our efforts in advancing the capability of Singapore’s railway and transportation sector to meet changing needs. The MOU will dovetail with the Chartered Engineer (Singapore) Registry for Railway & Transportation Engineering championed by IES to validate professional experience, expertise and practising competence of engineers in this field. It will help both institutions better serve the needs of our members and realise our common goal of harnessing engineering to build safer, more efficient and sustainable rail networks for the public,” said Er. Edwin Khew, President of IES.

7.  The conference included visits to SMRT’s Kim Chuan and Bishan Depots, as well as to SBS Transit’s Gali Batu Depot. At these visits, delegates learnt about the North-South and East-West Lines’ transition to the CBTC system, as well as the signalling system used on the Downtown Line. They also viewed Singapore Technologies Electronics Ltd’s facilities where they learnt more about their various technologies.

About IRSE

The Institution of Railway Signal Engineers is the professional engineering institution for all those engaged or interested in railway signalling, control and communications and allied disciplines. We have over 5,000 members in 54 countries around the World and we are run by our members for our members, governed by an elected international council. The IRSE runs over 100 events every year, including presentations, seminars, conferences and technical visits. We publish a specialist signalling, telecommunications and control magazine, IRSE NEWS, 11 times a year. To learn more about the Institution, visit our website at

About IES

The Institution of Engineers, Singapore (IES) was formally established in July 1966 as the national society of engineers in Singapore. IES is the premier engineering institution in Singapore and is called upon by the Government to provide feedback on professional engineering matters.

IES is well represented among the faculty members of the major engineering institutions of higher learning in Singapore. Through close collaboration with the local universities and polytechnics, IES organises courses, seminars and talks for engineers and IES members to advance the continuous development of engineers.

The Institution maintains close links with professional organisations of engineers regionally and throughout the world. These include organisations in Australia, China, Japan, United Kingdom and the United States. The Institution also represents Singapore in the ASEAN Federation of Engineering Organisations (AFEO) and the Federation of Engineering Institutions of Asia and the Pacific (FEIAP) in promoting goodwill and fellowship among all engineers in ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific region.

Through its Engineering Accreditation Board (EAB), IES obtained full signatory status in the Washington Accord (WA) in June 2006. The entry grants IES the authority to represent Singapore, the first country within the ASEAN region which has obtained full signatory status in the WA, to vet education systems under the WA mutual recognition framework.


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