Integrated Train Testing Centre

Integrated Train Testing Centre
Location Tuas
Opening Q4 2022 (Phase 1 / High-Speed Test Track)
End 2024 (Phase 2 / Full Completion)

The Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) is a future railway testing facility in Singapore, commissioned by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). The 50 ha site is situated at the former site of the Raffles Country Club, and enables the testing and commissioning of rolling stock and rail subsystems for both new and existing rail lines.

First announced on 24 April 2019, construction then began on 17 March 2021. The facility will open in two phases; the first by end-2022 to receive new trains and systems for Circle Line 6. Full completion is expected by end 2024.

Introduction / History

The Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) was first announced on 24 April 2019 by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan. With a capital cost estimated at several hundred million dollars, the facility was expected to enable more robust integrated testing of new railway systems before their implementation on operational lines. Such a facility would also deepen local engineering capabilities in the railway industry.

On 17 April 2020, Contract 190 for the design and construction of the ITTC was awarded to GS Engineering and Construction Corp (GS Engineering), at a contract sum of S$639.5 million. Construction started on 17 Mar 2021 with a groundbreaking ceremony officiated by Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung. The first phase is targeted for completion by end-2022, in time for the testing of Alstom Metropolis C851E trains for Circle Line 6 in 2023. Full completion is expected by end 2024.

Facilities

The ITTC is designed as a common facility for all train testing services. As such, the test tracks are designed to be interoperable and they can accommodate all types of signalling and communication systems used across the MRT network. It will also be equipped with both third-rail and overhead catenary power systems to allow for concurrent testing of trains and systems from different MRT lines.

To facilitate a comprehensive range of testing modules, the ITTC will house three separate types of tracks for specific safety-critical tests:

  • Endurance Test Track
    Loop track with gradient changes for train performance testing
  • Performance and Integration Test Track
    Looped track with a branched ‘S-shaped’ track
  • High-speed Test Track – opening 2022
    Straight high-speed track with minimal curvature and gradient, for dynamic speed testing of up to 100km/h

In addition to the roughly 11 km of test tracks, the ITTC includes the following facilities:

  • Administration Building
  • Operations Control Centre (OCC)
  • Train Maintenance Workshop
  • Train Refurbishment Workshop

The ITTC was designed by GS Engineering in cooperation with Korea’s state-run Korea Railroad Research Institute (KRRI). It is modelled after similar rail testing centres in Germany, Korea and Japan, all of which have extensive rail networks.

As indicated from site plans, the ITTC is a standalone facility not connected to the existing rail network, despite being in close proximity to Tuas MRT Depot.

Key Benefits

The Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) supports ongoing efforts to renew, upgrade and expand the rail network in Singapore; sustaining rail reliability, and deepening core rail engineering capabilities in Singapore.

Firstly, the ITTC allows for robust integrated testing of trains and their associated systems before they are deployed on operational lines. This approach frees up precious engineering hours for other activities, such as railway maintenance, and reduces the need for Early Closures and Late Openings in the future.

In addition, the LTA also expects to be able to speed up the diagnosis and rectification of faults with the ITTC, as troubleshooting can now be done locally. Over time, the ITTC would grow into a hub for LTA and the local rail industry to develop deeper Operations and Maintenance competencies and achieve engineering excellence.

The facility also provides railway workers with training opportunities, allowing for a first-hand understanding of the intricacies of new rail systems before they are deployed. The rolling stock facility at the ITTC can carry out mid-life train refurbishment projects.  Furthermore, the ITTC can also serve as a testing ground for the local rail industry to evaluate new railway infrastructure, develop proofs-of-concept, as well as to conduct research and development into railway technologies.

Trains

The facility will start receiving Alstom Metropolis C851E in early 2023. 11 trainsets are being delivered to support the Circle Line Stage 6.

Construction
31 May 2019 Tender released: Contract 190 – Design and Construction of Integrated Train Testing Centre
Bids submitted by GS E&C and John Holland/McConnell Dowell (Joint Venture)
17 April 2020 GS Engineering and Construction Corp awarded the $639.5 million contract
17 March 2021 Construction begins; groundbreaking ceremony held
Q4 2021 Projected Phase I opening
– High-speed test track
2024 Projected Phase II opening
– Endurance test track, Performance and Integration test track, Administration Building, Operations Control Centre Building and workshops

Phase 1 which includes the construction of the high-speed test track, is targeted to complete in the fourth quarter of 2022 while the rest of the facility is would be fully operational by end 2024 with the completion of the two remaining test tracks, the Administration Building, Operations Control Centre Building and workshops.

Renders

Testing Centres in other countries

Railway Testing Centres in other countries are built for the same reasons; as a way to rigorously test new railway technologies without the constraints of commercially-used rail lines. Apart from rolling stock, Testing Centres can accommodate all sorts of railway technologies, such as track or catenary components. They can be either privately-owned or state-owned.

Test Centres are also located in close proximity to train manufacturing facilities for testing prior to delivery. Many types of rolling stock which have been delivered to Singapore have been photographed in Testing Centres at their region of manufacture.


Promotional video


References

2 thoughts on “Integrated Train Testing Centre

  • 12 May 2020 at 3:29 PM
    Permalink

    I think not many countries have dedicated test facilities in Asia. There’s one in Beijing for sure, but that’s all I can recall. South Korea and Japan performs trial runs on commercial lines.

    Reply
    • 20 July 2021 at 1:44 PM
      Permalink

      South Korea also utilises a dedicated testing facility in Cheongju City from 2019. The facility has been built by GS Engineering, the same company taking charge of the construction of ITTC.
      Several newly-built rolling stocks for Seoul Metro and other regional rail operators are seen to undergoing a test run on there.

      Reply

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