Enhanced support to upgrade Singapore's train signalling systems with new facility
- POSTED: 11 Dec 2013 13:35
- UPDATED: 11 Dec 2013 23:22
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Singapore's goal to shorten waiting times for commuters on its two oldest rail networks looks to be on track with a new testing facility run by Thales.
SINGAPORE: Singapore's goal to shorten waiting times for commuters on its two oldest rail networks looks to be on track with a new testing facility run by Thales, which officially opened on Wednesday.
French aerospace and transportation giant Thales is tasked with upgrading the North-South and East-West Lines' signalling systems by 2018.
The new facility, the S$10 million Regional Integration Centre for Transportation, puts the firm's expertise in commissioning the systems in Singapore, promising shorter turnaround for service and support.
The facility will help shoulder the responsibility of ensuring that upgraded signalling systems are robust enough.
Rail signalling systems tell trains how far apart they can be from each other.
Modernising the systems will mean trains can safely arrive and depart from stations in shorter intervals, running at higher frequencies -- and that is what Thales is doing for Singapore's North-South and East-West Lines.
Jean-Noel Stock, chief executive of Thales Solutions Asia, said: "In previous years, the product was imported in Singapore and integrated by the mother companies.
“Now what we'll be able to do here is to integrate them from here and to have all the technicians close to the customer to be in our daily relationship, and to understand better their requirements."
The new facility enables rigorous testing of a whole train network, and runs simulations of rail operations.
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew said: "So instead of running five trains every 10 minutes, we expect to be able to, with the re-signalling project, run six trains within that same duration -- a 20 per cent increase in capacity and obviously also a shorter headway for commuters during the peak hours."
Thales will equip over 150 trains with new signalling equipment as part of the deal.
The Thales centre will also work with local authorities to engineer customised solutions for Singapore's ground transportation needs.