SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT are extending trials of a new signalling system along the North-South Line to full day every Sunday for two months starting from this Sunday (Apr 16).
This comes after eight successful tests were conducted during the last hour of passenger service starting on Mar 28.
The new system will allow trains to run more closely to each other, and this is expected to shorten waiting times from the current 120 seconds to 100 seconds.
During the previous trials, there was a 10-minute pause in train service to allow the switchover to the new system.
This will no longer be the case for the next stage of trials, as the trains will run on the new signalling system from the start of service on Sundays.
During the trial, LTA and SMRT will monitor the system's response to different situations and the trains' ability to keep to schedules, they said.
FIRST OF NEW TRAINS TO BE INTRODUCED
The upgraded signalling system will also allow LTA and SMRT to add up to 57 new trains to the North-South and East-West lines eventually, they said.
The first out of these trains that are specifically fitted for the new signalling system will be introduced on Sunday.
NEW TRAINS: 1 of 57 new trains to be introduced on North-South Line on Sunday as part of signalling system trial pic.twitter.com/gNolJBnVk4— Olivia Siong (@OliviaSiongCNA) April 12, 2017
They will be fitted with LCD passenger information display panels that can display information like the platform layout and places of interest near stations, in addition to upcoming stops.
The new trains will also use LED lighting, which is more energy efficient compared to the fluorescent lights used in current trains, and have signs marking out spaces for wheelchair users embedded on the ground.
LTA and SMRT said that all of the new trains are set to arrive by 2019. Of these, 45 have arrived in Singapore progressively since May 2015.