Singapore’s Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) held the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) which will support the testing and commissioning of trains and railway systems for both new and existing rail lines.
In 2020, the LTA awarded GS Engineering and Construction Corp a SGD 639.5 million (USD 476.2 million) contract for the design and construction of the new train test facility.
The testing centre is occupying a site of approximately 50 hectares, featuring a one-stop workshop for mid–life upgrading and testing of trains before they are deployed on the mainline. With the troubleshooting capabilities available locally at the Integrated Train Testing Centre, LTA and the operators will be able to speed up the diagnosis and rectification of faults in Singapore and boost ongoing efforts to maintain rail reliability.
With a dedicated facility, train testing works can be carried out away from the mainline around the clock, freeing up time and space for other maintenance activities to be performed during limited engineering hours. In addition, the ITTC’s operations will reduce the need for Early Closure and Late Opening (ECLO) to facilitate train testing, minimising inconvenience to commuters.
The new centre will have three separate types of tracks for specific safety-critical tests. The infrastructure will be created by a looped endurance track with a section that has an uphill gradient for train performance testing, a looped performance and integration track with a branched ‘S-shaped’ track and a straight high-speed track with minimal curvature and gradient for dynamic speed testing of up to 100 km/h.
The Integrated Train Testing Centre provides a common platform for train testing services. Its 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.
The new facility will be designed to achieve the BCA’s Green Mark Platinum certification, with energy-efficient equipment incorporated into its design and operations. These include the use of LED lightings, solar panels, and a centralised chiller system. To facilitate seamless connectivity and encourage walking and cycling within the compound, bicycle parking facilities and sheltered linkways which connect to various buildings will be provided.
The project will be completed within two phases. The first one covers the construction of the high-speed test track and is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2022, in time to receive the new Circle Line 6 trains in early 2023.
The ITTC will be fully operational by end 2024 with the completion of the two remaining test tracks, the administration building, operations control centre building and workshops.