Minor hiccups expected on East-West Line as full-day signalling tests begin on April 29: SMRT

As a result of the full-day tests on the signalling system, commuters may expect glitches during their journeys.
The Straits Times

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT will conduct trials of a new signalling system during the East-West Line (EWL) passenger service hours on five Sundays starting Apr 29, 2018.

Commuters may experience minor hiccups during their journeys as a result.

In a statement on Tuesday (Apr 25), SMRT said train services between Gul Circle and Joo Koon stations will resume on the five Sundays and the trials are expected to end on May 27, 2018.

Existing shuttle bus services that connect the two two stations will not operate on these dates however.

According to SMRT, trials of the Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling system are part of planned early closures and late openings of the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) which began in December 2017.

It has given the signalling system supplier Thales more time to implement the new signalling system on the EWL.

Thales is a French multi-national company working closely with SMRT to design and build electrical systems for Singapore’s transportation market.

Off-service trials have been conducted since February 2018 to fine-tune system performance.

“Only after we are satisfied with its performance did we decide to commence trials during service hours, starting with five Sundays from end-April to end-May 2018,” said Mr Chua Chong Kheng, LTA’s deputy chief executive for infrastructure and development.

He noted that trials conducted during service hours are critical to identifying and resolving issues that may arise only when the system is running under “real-world operational loads”.

SMRT Trains’ chief engineer for signalling and communications maintenance, Mr Chung Swee Hiang, said: “We ask for commuters’ patience and understanding, as we work with LTA and Thales to introduce the new signalling system for train service on the EWL gradually, with minimum inconvenience to commuters.”

While the EWL’s operating schedule will be unaffected by the Sunday trials, commuters may expect minor glitches such as train and platform doors not opening or closing promptly, delays and momentary train stops between stations.

“LTA, SMRT and Thales will be deploying more staff and engineers on the ground to shorten the response time to any issues that may develop, and provide assistance to commuters,” said SMRT.

The three organisations also intend to commence daily trials on the EWL during the school holidays in late-May 2018.