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HomesingaporeNew train fleets, track circuit, power supply systems: North-South, East-West MRT lines...

New train fleets, track circuit, power supply systems: North-South, East-West MRT lines complete renewal works

SINGAPORE — The multi-year programme to renew and upgrade the six core systems of the North-South and East-West MRT lines (NSEWL) was completed on Wednesday (Oct 25).


Meanwhile, the NSEWL’s new power supply system has enhanced features for real-time monitoring, which improves fault detection and prediction, LTA said.

It will, for example, constantly monitor the insulation of traction cables, enabling the operator to assess their condition and take “appropriate pre-emptive interventions” where necessary.

The power supply renewal works, which began in 2018, “encompassed the replacement of 1,300km of power cables, 250km of fibre-optic cables, and hundreds of power transformers and switchboards”, said Acting Minister Chee Hong Tat at the completion ceremony on Wednesday.

“The total length of all the power cables is equivalent to almost six times the length of Singapore’s coastline.” 

All NSEWL stations have also replaced the 64P touch voltage protection systems with new Voltage Limiting Devices to “isolate power faults and prevent line-wide disruptions”, added LTA.


LTA in 2018 ordered the production and delivery of 66 trains to progressively replace the first-generation NSEWL trains.

Another 40 new trains were purchased in 2020 to replace second- and third-generation trains. These new trains were equipped with sensors to monitor the performance of various train subsystems and track conditions, enabling early fault detection. 

In total, 26 new trains have arrived in Singapore. Seven are in passenger service, while the remaining 19 are undergoing testing and commissioning. 

The rest of the trains will arrive in Singapore and be put progressively into service from now until 2026.

The replacement of wooden sleepers with concrete sleepers was completed in December 2016, while replacement of the third rail was completed in September 2017.

The third rail supplies power to trains, while sleepers are used to help hold tracks in place.

“Back in 2012, the North-South-East-West Line was operating with a mean kilometres before failure (MKBF) figure of about 65,000 train-kilometres. By 2019, we achieved our target of 1 million MKBF, and we have maintained this high level of reliability ever since,” added Mr Chee. 

“Looking ahead, as our rail network continues to grow, different parts will also continue to age and have to be renewed. The scale and complexity of renewal works will only increase. 

“Our commitment to the renewal and maintenance efforts (for) our rail network will become even more important to deliver a safe, efficient and reliable commuting experience for Singaporeans.” CNA

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