1. A software update will be installed on the new signalling system on the North-South Line (NSL) after passenger service hours this Friday, 14 July. This update is to further fine-tune the ongoing testing by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), SMRT, and system supplier Thales to stabilise the system after having undergone full-day testing since 29 May 2017.
2. The software update, developed and tested by Thales, will address several teething issues surfaced by the findings from earlier testing. It is expected to improve a) alignment between train and platform screen doors, b) trackside-to-train communications, and c) strengthen the signalling system’s main server.
3. In installing the software update, we have been cognisant that we should minimise inconvenience to commuters. As such, we have subjected the new software update to rigorous testing for weeks in a simulated environment, as well as during non-passenger service hours along the NSL and Tuas West Extension. Meanwhile, the old signalling system is kept operational, should there be a need to temporarily revert to the old system.
4. As we cannot rule out possible initial faults during the software update, engineers from LTA, SMRT and Thales will be on standby round-the-clock to closely monitor the transition and address faults. More SMRT Service Ambassadors will also be deployed on the ground to assist affected commuters, in the event of a service delay. Should a fault occur, we seek the public’s understanding. Commuters should check the SMRT Connect and MyTransport app, and SMRT’s Facebook and Twitter feed for official train service updates.
5. Mr Ngien Hoon Ping, LTA’s Chief Executive said “It has been about seven weeks since we started the weekday trials of the new signalling system. We have had a few occurrences of early teething issues. LTA, SMRT and Thales are working round-the-clock to resolve the issues as they happen. A software update will be installed on the new signalling system on the North-South Line after passenger service hours today. It is expected to improve the signalling system. While we are making steady progress we will still need a few more months before the system stabilises. This is similar to what other countries had experienced when they carried out their resignalling works. We understand the inconvenience caused to commuters since we intensified the signalling tests in the last few weeks. However, these works are necessary for us to improve and renew the system. The signalling works are complex, especially as we are working on a live system with four different fleets of trains of different ages, with limited time for installation and testing. We thank commuters’ for their patience and continue to seek their understanding and patience. We will spare no effort to have the problems resolved and the system stabilised as soon as possible so that we can all enjoy a better commute.”
6. Mr Lee Ling Wee, Chief Executive Officer of SMRT Trains said, “On behalf of SMRT, I apologise for the inconvenience to commuters over the past weeks. SMRT is committed to serving our commuters. As a nation, this is the first time that we are implementing a resignalling project on an existing line. We will make sure that the lessons learnt from NSL are ported over to EWL. The completion of resignalling project on NSEWL will bring long term benefits to our commuters. These include more reliable train services and an increase in train capacity, translating into shorter waiting time and less platform congestion during peak hours. I would like to assure commuters and the public that as a team, LTA, SMRT and Thales are sparing no effort, working hand-in-hand to iron out teething issues with the new signalling system.”