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March 20, 2019

Hong Kong MTR to postpone rollout of signalling system

Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR) is reportedly planning to postpone the introduction of new signalling system following a rare train collision during the trials.

Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR ) is reportedly planning to postpone the introduction of a new signalling system following a rare train collision during trials.

During an overnight trial of the signalling system, two trains collided near Central station on Tsuen Wan line. No passengers were on-board at the time of the collision.

The incident has raised questions over the reliability of the signalling system, which is called SelTrac. The system is designed by French company Thales.

According to a report in South China Morning Post, the train accident has raised major safety concerns and may further delay the rollout of the system.

“We must ensure safety before rolling out the new system, I believe the project will be impacted.”

MTR operations director Adi Lau Tin-shing was quoted by the publication as saying: “We must ensure safety before rolling out the new system, I believe the project will be impacted.”

According to MTR , a software issue in SelTrac may be responsible for the crash. The designer of the signalling system has denied the allegations.

In 2015, in a joint venture with Alstom,  Thales secured the contract to deliver SelTrac CBTC on seven MRT lines.

The system was scheduled to be rolled out on the Tsuen Wan line late last year but it was pushed to the second half of 2019.

MTR has been testing the system on the Tsuen Wan line since early 2018.

MTR managing director Jacob Kam Chak-pui told the publication that all tests will be suspended and a preliminary report will be compiled in two to three months.

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