Joint Release by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) & SMRT - System-Level Performance Checks Continue On North-South Line Signalling System

News Releases 27 Jun 2017 signalling system North South Line (NSL)

    SMRT and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) have been trialling the new signalling system on the North-South Line (NSL). The trials started on 28 March 2017 by switching over to the new signalling system during the last hour of passenger service, progressing to full-Sunday service on 16 April 2017, and subsequently full-day weekday trials since 29 May 2017. We thank commuters for your understanding and patience as we resolved early teething problems.

2.  The progressive trials have allowed engineers from SMRT, LTA and Thales, the supplier of the signalling system, opportunities to fine tune the system and rectify teething problems. These include improvements to the alignment of train doors and platform doors at stations, and better regulation of train service intervals and train dwell time at stations. Operations controllers and train captains have also overcome initial issues in operating the system, such as significantly reducing incidents of train overshoot at platforms and smoother train braking and acceleration along the viaduct during adverse weather conditions. In particular, the full-day trials over the past four weeks have allowed engineers to stress-test the system, and observe its performance under intense operational conditions that are typical of weekday peak hours, when trains are running at high frequencies with heavy commuter loads.

3.  In the coming weeks, we will continue to conduct intensive performance checks and deploy new software to improve the system. During this period, commuters may continue to experience some delay when travelling on NSL, if new issues emerge. We seek your continued understanding and patience, as our team works round the clock to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. In the meantime, SMRT, LTA and Thales will intensify efforts in fault troubleshooting and service recovery, to shorten response time to signalling faults and minimise inconvenience to commuters.

4.  Mr Tan Yih Long, Project Director for Re-signalling at LTA said:  “LTA and SMRT have been working very closely with Thales to identify and resolve issues. Once an issue is identified, a team of engineers analyses it and identifies suitable remedial action such as the implementation of a new software so that the issue can be quickly rectified.”

5.  Mr Alvin Kek, SMRT Senior Vice President for Rail Operations (NSEWL) said: “We would like to thank commuters for their patience and understanding as we do our best to run-in the new signalling system, and ensure that it can deliver a higher level of service reliability and shorten waiting times for commuters in the near future. This may take a few more months, but we are confident that system operations will progressively improve over time.”

6.   SMRT, LTA and Thales have also been concurrently running system checks for the Tuas West Extension (TWE) on the East-West Line. TWE, which operates on the new signalling system, opened for service on 18 June 2017.

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