Friday, April 12, 2024
HomesingaporeLTA unveils high-speed test site for MRT trains, on track to complete...

LTA unveils high-speed test site for MRT trains, on track to complete Southeast Asia’s first rail testing facility

SINGAPORE: Singapore is a step closer to completing Southeast Asia’s pioneer rail testing facility, with the first of three planned tracks at the Singapore Rail Test Centre (SRTC) now up and running.

The straight 3-km high-speed testing track in Tuas can test the performance of MRT trains at various speeds, before they are rolled out to serve passengers.

Currently, two Circle Line Stage 6 trains are undergoing tests on the track.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Thursday (Nov 2) unveiled the track as it announced the completion of the first phase of the project.

Two more tracks are in the works – a 3-km endurance looped track with an uphill section to test the trains’ performance, and a 2.8-km circuit to help integrate new trains and systems such as signals into the rail network.

An operations control centre, administrative building, as well as maintenance and refurbishment workshops are also being built.

CENTRE TESTS TRAINS AND SYSTEMS

LTA said the construction of the facility, which commenced in 2021, is on track for completion in 2025.

The centre will reduce the reliance on overseas testing and free up hours on the main rail lines for maintenance.

The statutory board said the facility will play a crucial role in ongoing efforts to renew, upgrade and expand Singapore’s rail network.

The dedicated facility will allow train testing to be carried out away from the main rail lines, freeing up time and space for maintenance activities during those limited hours.

The testing can also be conducted round-the-clock, as the SRTC is far from residential areas.  

MORE THAN JUST A TESTING GROUND

Mr Chee said the need for a national testing facility has become more apparent as Singapore upgrades and expands its rail system.

He said: “We will need to test more systems, and more frequently, as we enter a period of unprecedented network expansion till early 2030s, with the development of the Thomson-East Coast Line, the Jurong Region Line, and the Cross Island Line, as well as the extension and renewal of our existing MRT lines.”

Mr Chee hopes the centre can also be a training ground for aspiring rail professionals and operators.

“One ambitious stretch goal is to deepen the capabilities of our local rail workforce,” he said. “It can also support research and development by leading rail manufacturers, consultants, academia and operators, who can use SRTC’s facilities to test and pilot new technologies and systems.”

Mr Chee added that the facility can serve as a regional and global testing hub for new railway technology and systems.

“The SRTC has the potential to become a regional testing centre, to serve the growing rail systems in neighbouring countries,” he said.

“In turn, this can provide our local rail engineers with more opportunities to learn from and engage their counterparts in the region.”

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