The North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) are the most heavily utilised rail lines in the MRT network. These lines are in service for 34 years now. The Bukit Panjang LRT is an automated guide way transit line in Singapore that opened in 1999.To improve and bolster reliability for current and future demands, the Land Transport Authority, transport operator SMRT Corporation, and other stakeholders are working together to upgrade NSEWL’s rail sleepers, signalling system, power system, and even trains. Recently, it was announced that the communications system for the North-South and East-West lines and the Bukit Panjang LRT lines will be upgraded to improve the reliability, safety, and efficiency of these rail lines.
Who Will Work On the Communications Systems Upgrade Project
A consortium made up of ST Engineering, an engineering group in the aerospace, electronics, and land systems and Siemens Mobility, a technology company focused on industry, infrastructure, and transport, has won the $180 million contract to carry out the project.
The communication systems of 75 locations will be upgraded. These locations include stations, interchanges, on-line substations, depots and control centres along the NSEWL and Bukit Panjang LRT lines. It is expected that the new communication systems will be operational by 2029.
Mr Chew Men Leong, president of urban solutions at ST Engineering, said, “The firm will work together with Siemens to ensure that there is zero disruption while deploying the new communications systems to existing systems and train services.”
Other Core Systems of NSEWL That Have Been Renewed Recently
The Land Transport Authority had previously announced that it will renew the six core systems of the NSEWL lines to improve rail reliability. As part of the renewal, LTA will be introducing a new fleet of 66 trains to replace the first-generation trains in the NSEWL lines. Other systems that have been renewed recently include:
• New signalling system: The new signalling system allows trains to run more closely to each other. This has helped to shorten waiting times.
• Third rail: The third rail will improve the reliability of the power supply.
• Power supply system: The power supply upgrade now detects faults and predicts in real-time.
• New track circuit system: The new system will automatically detect broken rails for faster repairs.
• Replacement of sleepers: Timber sleepers were replaced with harder concrete ones for a smoother ride.
All these renewal and replacement projects were carried out by SMRT and LTA. SMRT, being the leading public transport operator in Singapore, manages the NSEWL lines and works on the renewal projects to provide smoother and more enjoyable rides to commuters.
SMRT Chairman, Seah Moon Ming, said, “We remain committed to working with MOT and LTA as part of the One Transport Family to serve commuters well and maintain our MRT as among the most reliable systems in the world.”
LTA and public transport operators are working hard to provide accessible and inclusive train services to commuters. The communication system renewal project for the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) lines and Bukit Panjang LRT line will continue for the next few years. When completed, the new system will allow the NSEWL – two of Singapore’s oldest rail lines – and the Bukit Panjang line to accommodate more trains, reduce waiting time, and provide smoother rides to commuters.
About the Author
Winston works as a lead tech engineer in a leading transport communication system provider. When he is not working, he enjoys sharing his views on new technologies in the transport industry.