Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has announced the completion of the $640m Singapore Rail Test Centre’s (SRTC’s) first phase, which involves introducing its high-speed test track to service.

Completion followed two years of construction on a site of approximately 50 hectares.

The SRTC will serve as a “comprehensive testing platform” for several railway systems, including signalling, communications, power and integrated supervisory control systems before they are implemented on main lines.

Phase one of the SRTC included the construction of the high-speed rail track, which is set to test trains at speeds of up to 100km/h. According to the LTA, the CCL6 trains are to be the first to be tested.

Commenting on the announcement was Chee Hong Ta, acting Transport Minister, who emphasised the successes of the LTA: “I am very happy to join everyone here today to mark the completion of the first phase of the Singapore Rail Test Centre, or SRTC. SRTC is a key piece in our broader strategy for rail expansion and renewal.”

According to Chee Hong Ta, before the specialised tracks, testing was conducted overseas or on current rail lines, leading to inefficiency and causing issues for passengers.

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Hong Ta emphasised how the completion of the SRTC will create a more efficient system: “Testing on our local tracks means less time for maintenance. The time used for testing is time that we could have used to maintain and service our tracks and other rail systems. Every day, we only have three precious engineering hours between 1am and 4am. An ageing network requires more maintenance and that is where SRTC comes in.”

The second phase of the SRTC will introduce two new tracks. This will oversee the tracks featured at the SRTC, including an endurance track, a high-speed test track and a performance and integration test track.

The full SRTC track is set to be completed by 2025.