|Integrated Train Testing Centre|
On 24 April 2019, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that it was constructing a new Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) to perform integrated systems testing for all new and existing MRT lines.
Occupying a site of approximately 50 hectares at the former Raffles Country Club site, the ITTC will be equipped to robustly test trains and other core railways systems (e.g. electrical, mechanical and signalling systems) around the clock, without affecting passenger services on the main lines.
The facility is similar to testing centres in other countries with extensive rail networks, such as Germany, Korea and Japan. As indicated from site plans, the ITTC is not expected to be connected to the existing rail network, despite being in close proximity to Tuas Depot.
The ITTC allows for robust testing of trains and integrated 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. As such, the ITTC will support ongoing efforts to renew, upgrade and expand the rail network.
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 will provide railway workers with training opportunities, giving them 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.
Test Tracks & Facilities
The ITCC will include various test tracks, such as the:
- Endurance Loop Test Track
- Performance and Integration Loop Test Track
- Straight High-speed Test Track
In addition to the various test tracks and supporting infrastructure, the ITTC will contain the following facilities:
- Operations Control Centre (OCC)
- Train Maintenance Workshop
- Train Refurbishment Workshop
The LTA would be calling for a tender to design and build the ITTC later in 2019, with constructed expected to start in mid-2020.
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.