The Land Transport Authority (LTA) of Singapore has revealed plans to build an Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) to test the railway systems without disrupting usual Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) services.

The centre will be located in a 50ha area at the former Raffles Country Club site.

The ITTC will test trains before they are deployed on operational lines and other associated core systems such as electrical, mechanical and signalling systems.

To be modelled on lines of similar facilities in Korea, Japan and Germany, the train testing centre will improve service reliability. Additionally, it will reduce the need for line closures for testing.

“This approach frees up precious engineering hours for other activities, such as railway maintenance, and reduces the need for future early closures and late openings.”

Eventually, LTA aims to develop ITTC as an operation and maintenance hub. It will also feature a rolling stock facility to carry out mid-life train overhauling works.

LTA Infrastructure and Development deputy chief executive Chua Chong Kheng said: “The ITTC allows for robust testing of our trains and integrated systems before they are deployed on operational lines.

“This approach frees up precious engineering hours for other activities, such as railway maintenance, and reduces the need for future early closures and late openings.

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“In addition, LTA will be able to speed up the diagnosis and rectification of faults with the ITTC, as troubleshooting can now be done locally.”

LTA is expected to announce the contract to build the ITTC over the next few months.

The contractor will build an endurance loop test track, a performance and integration loop test track, a straight high-speed test track, and facilities such as an operations control centre, a maintenance workshop, a refurbishment workshop and an office.

The train testing centre is expected to start receiving vehicles for Circle Line 6 at the end of 2022.