Singapore – The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT will conduct trials of the new Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling system during East-West Line (EWL) passenger service hours on five Sundays from 29 April 2018 to 27 May 2018.
With train services on the entire EWL operating on the new CBTC signalling system, services between Gul Circle and Joo Koon stations will also resume on the five Sundays from 29 April to 27 May 2018. The existing shuttle bus service connecting Gul Circle and Joo Koon will not operate on these dates.
These trials are part of the planned early closures and late openings of the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) which started since December 2017 and have given LTA, SMRT and signalling system supplier Thales more time to implement the new signalling system on the EWL. Off-service trials have also been ongoing since February 2018 to fine-tune system performance. This includes ensuring accurate train-to-platform door alignment at EWL stations, smooth acceleration and deceleration of trains along EWL tunnels and viaducts, as well as the interface with North-South Line (NSL) operations.
The latest version of the CBTC signalling software is also undergoing testing at the newly opened CBTC Signalling Simulation Facility in Bishan Depot. This facility will augment ongoing trials by simulating the reliability and robustness of the new signalling system under different test scenarios. These simulations can be done without impacting actual train services, and are tailored to the environmental and infrastructural conditions of the rail network in Singapore.
LTA’s Deputy Chief Executive for Infrastructure and Development, Mr Chua Chong Kheng said: “Together with SMRT and Thales, we have been conducting extensive testing of the new CBTC signalling system during off-service hours. Only after we were satisfied with its performance did we decide to commence trials during service hours, starting with five Sundays from end-April to end-May 2018. Trials conducted during service hours are important, as they give us an opportunity to expeditiously identify and resolve issues that may only surface when the system is operating under real-world operational loads.”
Mr Chung Swee Hiang, SMRT Trains’ Chief Engineer for Signalling and Communications Maintenance, said: “The system’s performance in a live operating environment will be closely monitored over the next few Sundays. Our engineering team will work closely with the operations team to quickly rectify any new faults which we may not have encountered during off-service trials, and make adjustments according to operational needs. 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.”
The upcoming Sunday trials will not affect the EWL’s operating schedule. However, commuters may occasionally encounter instances of train and platform doors not opening or closing promptly, trains being held at stations longer than usual, or trains stopping momentarily 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.
LTA, SMRT and Thales are working to commence daily trials of the new CBTC signalling system on the EWL during the school holidays in late-May 201
North-South-East-West Line CBTC Simulation Facility Scenarios
Scenario 1: Simulating operations on North-South and East-West lines
In this scenario, trains will be running on both the North-South and East-West lines. This allows testing of the system without resource constraints like track access and train captains.
Scenario 2: CBTC system reaction to temporary speed restriction
A safety feature of the system is also the correct reaction of the system to a temporary speed restriction imposed. In this scenario, a speed restriction of 18 km/h will be imposed on the track. A train in automatic mode will traverse across this temporary speed restriction with a speed limited to 18km/h until the entire train has departed the track block.
Scenario 3: Bi-directional functionality for CBTC
An improvement of the CBTC system as compared to the old signalling system is the ability to perform bi-directional operations on the line. This provides more flexibility and recovery for operations of the North-South, East-West lines, especially during a disruption. A train will be put on a shuttle service travelling between 2 stations to demonstrate this functionality