New signalling system trials extended to Sunday from April 16

From April 16 onwards, the trial of the new signalling system for the North-South Line (NSL) will be extended to a full day on Sundays, stated Land Transport Authority and SMRT in a press release issued on Wednesday.

This follows the successful weekday trials during the last hour of passenger service since March 28. The new system will help trains to run more closely to each other, and this is expected to shorten waiting times from the current 120 seconds to 100 seconds.

SMRT trains are the virtual lifelines for Singaporean people.
SMRT trains are the virtual lifelines for Singaporean people. Photo courtesy:

During the previous trials, there was a 10-minute pause in train service to allow the switchover to the new system. 

The all-day trials on Sundays are expected to last two months. Trains leaving the depot at the start of service on Sundays will be controlled by the new signalling system for the full day of service.

“The Sunday trials will allow the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT to further test the new signalling system’s reliability as it carries out full-day passenger service. During the trial, engineers will monitor the system’s response to different situations, and trains services’ adherence to their schedules, as the number of trains running on the new system is gradually increased,” stated the release.

The upgraded signalling system will also allow LTA and SMRT to add up to 57 new trains to the North-South and East-West lines eventually. The first out of these trains that are specifically fitted for the new signalling system will be introduced on Sunday.

These trains will have enhanced features like LCD passenger information display panels that can display information like the platform layout and places of interest near stations, in addition to upcoming stops. 

It will also use LED lighting, which is more energy efficient compared to the fluorescent lights used in current trains, and have signs marking out spaces for wheelchair users embedded on the ground.