The Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) will serve the needs of existing and upcoming MRT lines while allowing more than one project to be tested concurrently. Photo: LTA
Construction of the Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) began on Wednesday (17 March), with the centre expected to be fully operational by the end-2024.
Occupying the former Raffles Country Club site, the centre will be ready to receive two new trains for Circle Line 6 by early 2023, reported Channel News Asia (CNA).
Once fully operational, the ITTC will serve the needs of existing and upcoming MRT lines while allowing more than one project to be tested concurrently, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said at the groundbreaking ceremony.
Announced in 2019 by the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the centre will support not only the testing and commissioning of trains and railway systems, but also the mid-life upgrades of trains in Singapore.
Train testing is currently done at depots as well as on the mainline during engineering hours, adding up to “very few hours in the wee hours of the night”, said Ong.
Testing new trains take a few years since they have to be tested along with the interfacing Signalling and Communication Systems.
“Such rigorous testing is critical to ensure that trains have been built to specifications and will work as intended,” said Ong as quoted by CNA.
“Train testing is, therefore, an important and integral part of our maintenance regime, which in turn upholds a high level and high standards of safety and reliability of MRT and train systems.”
The 50ha centre allows engineers to test “around the clock” and replicate “actual conditions” on the mainline. It also frees up “limited engineering hours” on the depots and mainline for other maintenance and renewal works, he added.
In a release, LTA noted that the ITTC will also minimise inconvenience to commuters as it reduces the need for late openings and early closures.
“Today, such tests can only be conducted overseas, before the trains are delivered to Singapore,” said Ong.
“By doing the tests here, we are better able to troubleshoot, identify and resolve any teething issues early to ensure better reliability.”
He added that this would also allow the city-state to build up its local rail engineering capabilities.
The centre can simultaneously test up to three different signalling systems.
It will feature a one-stop workshop for mid-life upgrades and testing of trains prior to deployment, speeding up diagnosis as well as rectification of faults, said LTA.
The centre will have three types of tracks for “specific safety-critical tests”. This includes a looped endurance track that comes with an uphill gradient section to test the performance of trains, a looped performance and integration track that feature a branched S-shaped track as well as a straight high-speed track for testing speeds of up 100km/h.
With energy efficiency as a priority, the ITTC will be designed to achieve the Green Mark Platinum certificate of the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).
The centre, for instance, will use solar panels, LED lights and a centralised chiller. There will also be bicycle parking facilities as well as sheltered linkways to other buildings.
The centre is set to be completed in two phases, with the first phase slated to be completed in Q4 2022.
The first phase includes the development of the high-speed test track, while the second phase will see the construction of the two remaining test tracks, the operation control centre building, administration building and workshops.
Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org