Incoming SMRT chief Neo Kian Hong joins Khaw Boon Wan to observe full-day trial of new signalling system

During the visit by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan (second from right), incoming SMRT chief Neo Kian Hong (left) and SMRT chairman Seah Moon Ming (second from left), teams from LTA and SMRT were also present to gather feedback on ground operational
During the visit by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan (second from right), incoming SMRT chief Neo Kian Hong (left) and SMRT chairman Seah Moon Ming (second from left), teams from LTA and SMRT were also present to gather feedback on ground operational matters.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/SMRT

SINGAPORE - Train operator SMRT's incoming chief executive officer Neo Kian Hong joined Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Sunday (April 29) to visit staff during the first full-day trial of the new signalling system.

The trial on the East-West Line during operating hours will take place on five Sundays until May 27.

The new communications-based train control system will allow trains to run closer together, and arrive at intervals of up to 100 seconds during peak hours, instead of 120 seconds currently.

During the visit by Mr Khaw, Mr Neo and SMRT chairman Seah Moon Ming, teams from the Land Transport Authority and SMRT were also present to gather feedback on ground operational matters, said SMRT in a Facebook post on Sunday.

SMRT said in a Facebook post on Sunday that while they are "optimistic that the process will be smoother than the North-South Line testing", there may be "minor glitches and delays" during the Sunday trials.

Previously, tests of the new signalling system were done outside train operational hours.

All 35 stations along the EWL have had their operating hours on weekends shortened since March 2, so as to provide more time for engineering staff to intensify testing of the new signalling system.

During the full-day tests, the EWL will connect Gul Circle and Joo Koon stations. Since a train collision at Joo Koon station on Nov 15 last year, the section of the line was disconnected.

The Straits Times had previously reported that by end-May, if all goes well, week-long live testing will commence. The system is expected to be fully ready by June.

SMRT announced on April 18 that Mr Neo, a former general and permanent secretary, will succeed incumbent chief executive Desmond Kuek from Aug 1.