LTA awards $573M of contracts to upgrade North-South and East-West Lines

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The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded $573 million worth of contracts to upgrade the North-South (NS) and East West (EW) Lines to three international companies, in a bid to “significantly reduce” the number of power and signalling glitches.

Japanese firm Meiden Singapore was awarded two contracts worth $500 million to upgrade the power supply system of the two Lines, said LTA in a statement on Friday (9 February).

A German-French consortium comprising Siemens and ENGIE Services Singapore was awarded a $73 million contract to replace the track circuit system.

Chua Chong Kheng, LTA’s deputy chief executive for infrastructure and development, said the authorities are “deeply committed to improving the reliability” of the NS and EW Lines, which are the oldest and most heavily utilised rail lines.

“We expect the new power supply and track circuit systems to significantly reduce the number of power and track circuit related faults. LTA is working closely with SMRT to ensure that these projects will be implemented smoothly,” Chua said.

In the event of an outage, the power supply system will be able to automatically switch the power supply source. It can also detect the location of trains on the Lines and facilitate speedier recovery from a signalling system failure, LTA added.

Design and on-site works for the contracts will start later this year and completion is expected by the early 2020s, said LTA.

The awarding of the contracts comes after train operator SMRT experienced several major glitches on the NS and EW Lines, including flooding in a train tunnel at Bishan that caused a major disruption on the NS Line last October and a signalling fault that led to a train collision at Joo Koon station on the EW Line last November.

French conglomerate Thales, the supplier of the new signalling system for the NS and EW Lines, took “full responsibility” for its part in the collision that injured 38 people, which was attributed to a software glitch.