New Technologies Introduced in Singapore’s MRT and SMRT’s Contribution To It

Singapore has made unprecedented development in its public transportation system over the last few years. Its extensive rail network is complemented by comprehensive bus services, and taxis. Approximately 7 million trips are made via public transport systems every day in Singapore.

The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) network of Singapore is considered as one of the most efficient and affordable transportation systems in the world. It is not only a reliable public transportation for commuters but also a sustainable solution to meet the increasing demands of the growing population. With the advancement in technologies, MRT operators like SMRT Corporation (SMRT), the Land Transport Authority (LTA), and the government have developed and implemented new systems and innovative technologies in the rail network. Here are the new technologies introduced in Singapore’s MRT in the last few years.

1. IntelligentTransport Systems (ITS) are now being used to integrate data from transport infrastructure to improve communication and manage traffic flow.

2. SMRT, one of Singapore’s largest public transportation providers, has partnered with McLarenApplied Technologies to develop and use condition-monitoring solutions of Formula 1 (F1) for tracking the performance of SMRT trains.

3. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is working with Bombardier Transportation to deliver 106 six-car Movia metro trains. These trains will help to improve operational efficiency as they are equipped with the Train Control Monitoring System (TCMS) and predictive and condition-based monitoring technology.

4. The communication system on 92 Bombardier MOVIA metro trains will be upgraded by Bombardier with the support of LTA. Bombardier will also digitalise the Dynamic Route Map Display (DRMD) and install an Automatic Track Inspection (ATI) system software.

5. LTA supported Bombardier in the delivery of driverless trains in the Downtown line. It is now one of the longest driverless MRT systems in the world.

6. Singapore’s MRT also features hands-free ticketing technology that helps people with disabilities to easily enter and exit the stations.

7. New electric train shunters have been installed in the Tuas depot to improve the train maintenance process. The depot also features a fully-automated train wash system that harvests rainwater and also recycles water after every wash.

8. Apart from the above-mentioned changes, operators and the government have worked together to improve the lighting systems, electrical systems, rolling stock, escalators, and water systems.

SMRT’s Contribution to the Advancement of the MRT Network
Since 1987, SMRT has been providing safe and convenient transport services to millions of people. It has contributed a lot to the advancement of Singapore’s urban landscape. Here are the new technologies and innovations introduced by SMRT.

• It uses the Track Access Management System (TAMS) to automate track booking and control processes and better manage all the maintenance activities.

• SMRT’s Mobile Operation and Maintenance System (MOMS) helps engineers and staff to access critical maintenance data. This helps them to monitor maintenance work and simplify tedious work processes.

• The signal system used in the North South and East West Lines, which are operated by SMRT, are now using the Communications-Based Train Control signalling system. This system is helping SMRT to run trains at shorter intervals and reduce commuters’ waiting times.

• SMRT has launched Trains Kaizen projects in which more than are 3,000 employees participating to bring about continuous process improvements.

• From time to time, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT jointly conduct an emergency preparedness exercise using high-tech robots. These robots are equipped with intelligent surveillance cameras, video analytics, and sensors. They are installed at MRT stations to enhance operational capabilities and strengthen security.

SMRT has developed a data foundation layer to enable better data exchange. The operator has created a predictive and real-time dashboard to improve customer engagement and experience. It uses data analytics to analyse commuters’ movements and behaviours to enhance the customer journey.

Commenting on SMRT’s contribution to the improvement of the MRT system, Mr. Seah Mon Ming (SMRT Chairman) said, “Working closely with MOT & LTA, we will continue to renew our systems and also deepen our engineering capabilities to provide faster service recovery through more effective corrective maintenance.” Mr. Seah Moon Ming further commented, “We will continue to invest in People and Technology. The philosophy of continuous improvement and transformation is key to our success.”

From driverless technologies to automated systems, Singapore has always been at the forefront of introducing innovative mobility solutions. By developing and implementing new train technologies, LTA, SMRT, and the government of Singapore have helped to boost the performance and functionality of the rail network.

About the Author
Geeson Lim
Geeson has been working as a lead at one of the largest technology solutions provider in Germany. He has an interest in new technologies used in different sectors, especially in the public transportation system. He often shares his reviews and opinions on train technologies with leading magazines around the world.

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