Singapore's multi-modal transport services provider SMRT has announced it is investing S$195 million (US$156 million) to replace the signalling system on its underground train services on the North-South and East West lines.
SMRT said that the project, which will be completed in phases from 2016, will make it possible for trains to run at an improved frequency of 100 seconds, down from 120 seconds today, reducing waiting time for commuters.
To build the new signalling system, SMRT has signed a letter of agreement with Thales Solutions Asia Pte Ltd, which has its headquarters in France.
The replacement work covers more than 100 km of tracks on the NSEW Lines and involves designing of a new signalling system, manufacturing and installing of new signalling equipment and testing and commissioning of the new signalling system at all tracks, stations, trains, depots as well as the Operations Control Centre.
According to SMRT, a time gap of at least 120 seconds is required between a train that is leaving a station and the next one that is entering in the existing system. The new signalling system will be a "Communications-Based Train Control" system, where a train's precise location and speed are tracked and safety gaps between trains are not based on signal blocks but between trains.
"Such a system can reduce the time gap between trains entering and exiting stations by 20 seconds, to 100 seconds, during peak periods," said SMRT in a statement.
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