New signalling system to be rolled out progressively on North-South Line from March

An SMRT train travelling along the North-South line between Bishan and And Mo Kio stations.
An SMRT train travelling along the North-South line between Bishan and And Mo Kio stations.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will implement a new signalling system on the North-South Line progressively from March this year.

The system - which can allow trains to run at faster intervals of 100 seconds instead of 120 seconds - will be operationalised during the off-peak periods first, when there is lower ridership, LTA said on Friday (Jan 20).

This will be during the last hour of train service and on Sundays, for example.

The system will then be extended to the peak periods, the LTA said, adding that the progressive roll-out was needed to tackle possible teething issues.

"Given that the re-signalling works are complex, and international rail operators had advised that there were significant teething problems during their own projects, LTA will transit to the new signalling system progressively," LTA added.

With the new signalling system, trains will be able to run closer together, boosting capacity and making for a less congested ride for commuters.

On the East-West Line, more than 85 per cent of the re-signalling works have been completed and is expected to be operational in 2018, the LTA also said in an update.

On Friday, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan officiated the completion of the North-South East-West Line sleeper replacement programme.

The project, which involved replacing timber track sleepers with hardier, concrete ones, started in August 2013 and was completed in December last year.

The sleeper replacement is part of efforts to boost the reliability of the NSEWL which is the island's oldest system, at 30 years old.