Improving the North-South and East-West Lines
SMRT is making good progress in its multi-year, multi-project efforts to renew the NSEWL. This marks the biggest transformation of the Lines since they were built in the 1980s.
The project is progressing well with 91% of the NSL completed and 44% of the EWL re- signalling work done. We have already started trials to test the new signalling system on the NSL. Re-signalling is expected to be completed on the NSL in 2016 and on the EWL in 2018.
The new signalling system will substantially improve the capacity of the NSEWL to run trains at shorter intervals. This would mean a shorter wait for trains, which would ease congestion at station platforms during peak periods. This capability will be maximised as the train fleet is progressively enlarged by end 2016 to allow more trains to be deployed on the NSEWL. This underlines the importance of coordinating the multi-year, multi-project effort in rail renewal so that the combined benefits of these projects will give you a better journey on the rejuvenated NSEWL.
Under the re-signalling project, the new signalling system supplied by Thales will see one of the most advanced train signalling systems in the world installed on the NSEWL. The current signalling system, which dates back to the 1980s, keeps trains a safe distance from one another by dividing the rail network into fixed segments of track length called blocks, with only one train allowed into each block at any time. These blocks measure between 800m to 1,000m in length. This Fixed Block system protects passengers in one train from other trains operating along the same line.
The new signalling system uses advanced communications technology installed on trains to constantly update the traffic management system on the identity, location and speed of every train. The new system, which is more precise than the system it replaces, will lead to
better use of the rail network because the footprint for each train, which includes the length of the train and the safety distance in front and behind the train, will be much smaller. This Moving Block system can be imagined as a safety bubble that moves with and protects the train, and will automatically slow down the train when it approaches a train ahead. The safety distance is around 50m, which is a third of the safety distance required using the older system.
This shorter distance will allow us to deploy more trains at shorter intervals on the rail network while maximising safety for passengers. When fully operational, the new system
will allow trains to be spaced 100 seconds apart, which is an improvement from the 120 seconds between trains under the current system. The new signalling system is also
designed with more redundancies, which makes it more reliable because signal faults are less likely to occur.