Deepening Capabilities for Developing and Operating Train Testing Centres

News Releases 04 Nov 2022 Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC)

        The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and the Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to collaborate and build capabilities for the development of train testing centres in Singapore and the United Kingdom.

2.      Under the MOU, LTA and GCRE will exchange information and share best practices in areas such as design and engineering, asset management as well as operational aspects of train testing centres. Where feasible, both parties will also arrange for secondment and other talent exchange opportunities to participate in project work as well as technical visits to railway facilities and sites in United Kingdom.

Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) in Singapore

3.      Currently under construction by LTA, the ITTC will be the first train testing facility in Southeast Asia. It will support the testing and commissioning of trains and railway systems for both new and existing rail lines. Occupying a site of approximately 50 hectares, the ITTC will be equipped to test trains and other core railways systems (e.g. electrical, mechanical and signalling systems) around the clock without affecting passenger service on all operational lines.

4.      Over time, the ITTC has the potential to grow into a hub for LTA and the local rail industry to develop stronger operations and maintenance competencies. The facility will provide railway workers with training opportunities and give them a first-hand understanding of the intricacies of new rail systems before actual deployment. In addition, the ITTC can serve as a testing ground for the local rail industry to evaluate new railway infrastructure, develop proofs-of-concept, as well as conduct research and development into railway technologies. Equipped with a rolling stock facility, the ITTC is also capable of handling mid-life train refurbishment projects.

5.      LTA Deputy Chief Executive (Infrastructure and Development), Mr Chua Chong Kheng said, “The ITTC is central to our efforts to renew, upgrade and expand our rail network. This partnership with GCRE will help develop and grow mutual capabilities in operating such testing facilities.“

6.      Simon Jones, Chief Executive of GCRE said: “The land transport network in Singapore has transformed significantly over recent years. Work on the ITTC is well underway and, once complete, will provide specific endurance and integrated train testing in a safe and secure environment. It will be suitable for all train types and systems deployed in Singapore which provides us with a great opportunity to collaborate and learn from each other. This isn’t an exclusive arrangement but we will work together in good faith to review, discuss and compare our approach so that we can share technical expertise and research and development knowledge. It is collaborations like this that will help us to develop the very best global centre of excellence which will ultimately benefit the industry at large.”

7.      The first phase of the ITTC, which includes the construction of the high-speed track for dynamic speed testing of up to 100km/h, is expected to be completed in 2023 for testing Circle Line 6 trains. The facility is expected to fully commence operations in 2025.

About Global Centre of Rail Excellence

The Global Centre of Rail Excellence (GCRE) is a project supported by both the Welsh Government and the UK Government and is located on the former Nant Helen opencast coal mining site and Onllwyn Washery in Neath Port Talbot and Powys, South Wales. It will feature the UK’s first net zero railway and become a ‘one stop shop’ for railway innovation, from research and development, through testing, verification and certification, to applied innovation on mainline passenger and freight railways.

The facility will include two 25KV electrified test loops, one being a 6.9km high speed rolling stock track with a maximum speed of around 180km/h and the other a 4km ~60km/h high tonnage infrastructure test track. Other facilities will include a dual-platform test environment, rolling stock storage and maintenance facilities, operations and control offices, staff accommodation, shunting staff facilities and connections to the nearby main line. There will also be state of the art secure testing environments; equipment, systems, and communications development facilities. As part of the complex an R&D centre is to be established by leading UK Universities. Wider education, training, hotel and conference facilities and an industrial development zone are all envisaged in the wider site.

GCRE will:

•           deliver a modern and comprehensive rail testing and innovation facility; providing the capacity and capabilities for rigorous testing of rolling stock, infrastructure, and integrated systems from prototype to implementation

•           be a catalyst for the creation of a rail technology hub in Wales; providing a flexible, open-market platform for leading R&D activity that drives and accelerates innovation on the journey to net-zero

•           help to reduce regional inequality and promote regeneration in Wales; we’re working with industry to support skills development through high-quality employment in fair, secure and sustainable jobs that contribute to reducing regional inequality and promoting regeneration in Wales

•           support the development and testing of rail sector principles, standards and specifications; improving the UK's competitive strengths as a world leader in achieving carbon neutrality, contributing to an overall decrease in carbon emissions across the rail industry, boosting exports, enabling greater efficiency in a lower cost reliable railway, key tool in major project risk mitigation.

GCRE is expected to be fully operational in the summer of 2025.

About Land Transport Authority

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is a statutory board under the Ministry of Transport, which spearheads land transport developments in Singapore. As the agency responsible for planning, designing, building and maintaining Singapore’s land transport infrastructure and systems, we aim to bring about greener and more inclusive public transport system, complemented by convenient options to walk and cycle from their homes to their destinations. We leverage technology to strengthen our rail and bus infrastructure and provide exciting options for future land transport. For more information, please visit LTA’s website at

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