Upgrading the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL)

The North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) are the most heavily utilised rail lines in the MRT network, having served commuters for over three decades now.

To improve and bolster reliability for current and future demands, LTA has embarked on the renewal of six core systems on the NSEWL. This includes replacements of sleepers and third rail in 2016 and 2017 respectively, and the switch to the new signalling system in 2018.

As part of the renewal, LTA will be introducing a new fleet of 66 trains to replace the first-generation trains, and these trains will feature a range of technologies for preventive maintenance and detecting faults proactively to increase reliability. The trains are set to arrive in batches from 2021 and the first-generation NSEWL trains will be retired when the new trains enter service.

Benefits of renewing the 6 Core Systems

 

New signalling system for shorter train intervals
  1. New signalling system for shorter waiting times
    The new system allows trains to run more closely to each other. The upgrading of NSL’s signalling system has completed, while the system on the EWL has also since stabilised.
Replacement of sleepers and a smoother ride
  1. Replacement of sleepers and a smoother ride
    Timber sleepers were replaced with hardier concrete ones. A total of 188,000 sleepers were upgraded over a four-year period from 2013 to 2016.
More reliability with a new third rail
  1. More reliability with a new third rail
    The third-rail – which supplies electricity to the trains – is exposed to constant wear and tear. It has been replaced with a new one, improving the reliability of the power supply. A total of 180km of rail were replaced over a two-year period from 2015 to 2017.
New power supply system with better fault detection
  1. New power supply system with better fault detection
    The power supply upgrade has enhanced features for real-time monitoring, to improve fault detection and prediction. The system can also automatically switch to an alternative source of supply during a power outage to improve the overall resilience of the power supply network.
New track circuit system for faster fault recovery
  1. New track circuit system for faster fault recovery
    The new system will automatically detect broken rails that require repairs. It also has a built-in condition monitoring system to pre-emptively address possible track circuit failures. This will allow the system to recover more quickly from any signalling system failures.
New generation trains with fault detection capability
  1. New generation trains with fault detection capability
    The new trains will have built-in condition monitoring and diagnostic systems to detect faults early and track in real time the performance of various systems on the train. The interiors of the trains have also been designed to make boarding easier and increase passenger capacity, while maintaining the number of seats. All commuters will be catered for, including parents with strollers, wheelchair users, and commuters with personal mobility devices or foldable bicycles.
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