Rolling stock manufacturer Alstom has secured a long-term services support (LTSS) contract from SBS Transit Rail for the Urbalis signalling system on Singapore’s North-East Line (NEL).

As part of the agreement, the French company will provide technical expertise and local repair activities for the Urbalis signalling system installed on the automated underground driverless heavy metro system.

Alstom is scheduled to start work under the services support contract in 2023.

Urbalis is Alstom’s communications-based train control (CBTC) technology. The system was first installed on the NEL in 2003 to reduce passenger congestion.

The signalling system supports urban operators with standard supervision and control.

Upgraded on a frequent basis, the system meets the needs of heavy metro ridership.

Alstom Asia Pacific president Ling Fang said: “We are very pleased to be entering into this important services project with our long-term partner SBS Transit Rail.

“This new agreement is testament to Alstom’s growing footprint and ongoing commitment to localising key competencies within Singapore, while sustaining rail reliability.

“It allows us to invest further in the development of local talent and knowledge transfer which ultimately enhances and promotes Singapore’s local rail capabilities.”

Separately, Alstom signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Singaporean rail operator SMRT Trains to expedite innovation in the fields of railway operations and maintenance.

In this regard, the two entities will jointly work on 3D-printed spare parts, robots and vision computing for predictive maintenance automation and recoverable braking energy.

The teams from Alstom’s Innovation Station in Singapore and SMRT Trains will make use of multiple technologies including additive manufacturing, data analytics, artificial intelligence and cybersecurity to enhance efficiencies as well as security in railway operations.