The Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) is a dedicated railway testing facility in Singapore, commissioned by the Land Transport Authority (LTA). First announced on 24 April 2019, the facility is intended to support integrated systems testing for all new and existing MRT lines.
The first phase of the ITTC will open by end 2022 to receive new trains and systems for Circle Line 6. The ITTC will be fully operational by end 2024.
Built on the site of the former Raffles Country Club, the ITTC covers approximately 50 hectares and is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. The facility is equipped to perform robust integrated systems testing before they are deployed on new or operational train lines.
The ITTC houses an Operations Control Centre, testing equipment and around 11km of test tracks to support endurance, performance integration, and high-speed testing for new trains and supporting systems. The ITTC is equipped with a rolling stock workshop, stabling tracks and maintenance tracks to support the major refurbishment of existing trains.
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 connected to the existing rail network, despite being in close proximity to Tuas Depot.
The Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) supports ongoing efforts to renew, upgrade and expand the rail network in Singapore; sustaining rail reliability, and to deepen core rail engineering capabilities in Singapore.
Firstly, 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.
Next, 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.
Test Tracks & Facilities
The ITTC features roughly 11km of test track, covering the following:
- 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
On 31 May 2019, LTA called a tender for the construction of the ITTC (Contract 190 – Design and Construction of Integrated Train Testing Centre). Construction firms GS E&C and John Holland/McConnell Dowell (Joint Venture) both submitted bids. On 17 April 2020, GS Engineering and Construction Corp was awarded the $639.5 million contract.
Construction was 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.