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Speech by Minister Khaw Boon Wan at the visit to SMRT’s New North-South and East-West Line (NSEWL) Operations Control Centre (OCC) at Kim Chuan Depot

24 Apr 2019 Speeches

1.     Today’s visit is to mark two important developments for SMRT.

2.     First, the successful migration of SMRT’s North-South and East-West Line Operations Control Centre from Victoria Street, where SMRT has operated for 32 years. With this move, Kim Chuan Depot now houses SMRT’s Rail Operations Centre. It has become the nerve centre for three major MRT lines – the North-South, East-West, and Circle Lines.

3.     Second, the successful relocation of SMRT’s Headquarters from North Bridge Road to Paya Lebar Quarter. This brings SMRT’s Headquarters closer to Kim Chuan Depot and Bishan Depot, which is SMRT’s Maintenance and Engineering Hub. This proximity strengthens integration and coordination across key functions of the company.

4.     These two moves mark the start of a new chapter in SMRT’s journey. I convey my sincere congratulations to SMRT!

Completion of North-South and East-West Line Re-signalling

5.     Today, I am also happy to announce the completion of the North-South and East West Line re-signalling project. After the sleeper and third rail replacement projects, the re-signalling project is the third of six renewal projects for our oldest MRT Lines.

6.     The re-signalling project, in particular, has caused us many sleepless nights. It has aged many of us in MOT, LTA, SMRT and Thales considerably! It has forged us into one solid team. As a result of this hard work, our commuters can now enjoy a much more reliable MRT service. Let me take this opportunity to once again thank our commuters for their patience and understanding. But remember, we have 3 more renewal projects underway: power system, trains and track circuits. They are not as complex as re-signalling, but they have their own share of surprises. So, please continue to bear with us.

Integrated Train Testing Centre

7.     Today, I am also happy to announce our decision to build an Integrated Train Testing Centre, or ITTC, at Tuas. This facility is modelled after similar testing centres in Germany, Korea and Japan. It will be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.

8.     It will cost us a few hundred million to build. It is a worthwhile investment as it provides two important benefits:

9.     First, it allows us to test new trains and new rail systems robustly, round the clock, and away from the operational MRT line. This will free up limited engineering hours, and reduce the need to close our MRT lines. This will enhance the service levels provided to commuters.

10.    Second, the ITTC will be equipped to handle integrated systems testing across all existing and future MRT lines. By providing the local rail industry with a testbed for understanding the intricacies of new rail systems, the ITTC will deepen our railway Operations & Maintenance expertise. This will enhance rail reliability.

11.    The ITTC complements our other specialised testing facility, the Thales’ signalling simulation facility at Bishan Depot. These investments form our commitment towards sustaining rail reliability and strengthening rail engineering excellence in Singapore.

12.    The ITTC is scheduled to open around 2022, to receive the new trains and systems for Circle Line 6. By that time, the North-South and East-West Lines will be completely renewed too! That will be a very good occasion to celebrate!


13.    On this note, let me once again congratulate SMRT on the move to Kim Chuan Depot, and to the North-South East-West Line re-signalling team: well done and thank you!