Plan for longer travelling time on North-South Line: SMRT

Commuters are advised to plan for extra travelling time when the new signalling system on the North- South Line undergoes weekday tests from next week.

Rail operator SMRT said in a statement yesterday that the signalling system may continue to experience glitches, such as train and platform doors not opening or closing promptly, trains being delayed at stations or trains stopping in between stations.

They will not pose any critical danger, said SMRT.

More station personnel will also be on hand to help commuters, the rail operator added.

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Since the middle of last month, there have already been checks on the signalling system on Sundays.

Mr Alvin Kek, SMRT senior vice-president for rail operations on the North-South and East-West lines, said: "While we look forward to operating trains on the new signalling system, the all-day performance checks are part and parcel of working out teething issues that may arise when a new signalling system is introduced to a train network."

Engineers from SMRT, the Land Transport Authority and signalling system supplier Thales are still addressing those teething issues, SMRT said.

These include improving the alignment and coordination of train and station doors and helping train captains better use the signalling system in bad weather.

SMRT said: "The weekday system-level performance checks will allow the system engineers to further fine-tune and improve the operational performance of the system."

The goal is to eventually have train operations capable of running at intervals of as short as 100 seconds between each train.

SMRT said commuters can refer to its Facebook and Twitter feeds and travel apps for service updates.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2017, with the headline 'Plan for longer travelling time on North-South Line: SMRT'. Print Edition | Subscribe