All-day signalling trials on North-South Line to begin on Sunday; first new train with LED display to begin operations

The upgraded signalling will allow for the addition of 57 trains as part of plans to increase capacity on the 30-year-old North-South and East-West lines. LTA said the new trains have been put through rigorous tests.ST VIDEO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - All-day trials of the new signalling system on the North-South Line will be carried out on Sundays starting from April 16.

The tests are expected to last two months, said the Land Transport Authority and train operator SMRT on Wednesday (April 12). Trains are expected to run normally during the trials.

SMRT has been testing the new signalling system in the last hour of service on weekdays - at 11pm Monday to Thursday - which requires a 10-minute pause during service for the signalling switchover. The weekday testing, which started on March 28, will end this Thursday (April 13).

SMRT and the LTA said that the progressive roll-out will allow for issues to be addressed as soon as they are discovered, minimising inconvenience to commuters.

"During the trials, 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," they said.

The results of the trial will help determine when the new signalling system will be fully implemented.

The upgrading signalling will allow for the introduction of 57 additional new trains, the first of which will begin operations on Sunday (April 16), as part of plans to increase capacity on the ageing North-South and East-West Lines, which are 30 years old.

In addition to being fitted with the new signalling system, the new trains will be the first to feature LCD display boards showing the upcoming stops on the line, the locations of exits at the next station, nearby attractions, as well as safety messages. There will be clearer markings for wheelchair areas located in the two middle cars.

The new trains will also use energy-saving LED lights, instead of the current fluorescent ones.