CONSTRUCTION is more than 50% complete on a new rolling stock test and research facility that Land Transport Authority (LTA) is building in the west of Singapore.
Testing of the first of new six-car trains supplied by Alstom (previously Bombardier) at the new Integrated Train Testing Centre (ITTC) will begin in 2023 on the 3km high-speed test track, tracklaying for which is virtually complete. The tangent test track will accommodate speeds of up to 100km/h and is expected to support testing of up to two trains concurrently.
Elsewhere work to erect the shell of the new 205m by 106m eight-track maintenance hall is well underway and the roof is on schedule to be completed by the end of the year. Construction of the new three-storey operations control centre (OCC) and a three-storey administration building are also progressing well and are expected to be finished in 2023.
The view from the top of the OCC revealed that the 3km Endurance and the 4.8km Performance and Integration tracks are taking shape. This track features a maximum gradient of 3% and the elevated section includes 12 piers constructed within the adjacent reservoir in order to provide a 1/90 curve on the test loop. A special construction method was deployed for the piers in which pre-cast concrete blocks were installed in the water to offer a water-tight shell in which the piers could be installed without contaminating the water. The Endurance Track includes an S curve section which will be used to test train dynamics. It also has a maximum curve radius of 1/40.
Each of the test tracks will be equipped with the various signalling, telecommunications, and 25kV ac overhead and 750V dc third rail electrification systems used across the Singapore metro network. Of the 16.9km total network at the facility, 2.7km is elevated.
LTA says that building the ITTC will limit the need to conduct both new and existing rolling stock testing activities during constrained 4h 30min night-time possessions and also eliminates the need to close sections of the network at other times. Use by third parties is also foreseen in the medium term to offer an additional revenue stream with the centre poised to become a specialist train testing facility for Southeast Asia.
LTA awarded a joint venture of GS Engineering & Construction, Korea, and the Korean Railroad Research Institute (KRRI) a design-build contract worth $S 639.5m ($US 451.6m) in April 2020. Design support was provided by Arup (mechanical and engineering) and Ong & Ong (architectural).
KRRI is drawing on experience from its Osong train testing facility, which opened in June 2019, in supporting LTA. The authority has also partnered with Siemens, the owner and operator of the Wildenrath test facility in northwest Germany. However, unlike these facilities there are no level crossings for road vehicles, meaning that LTA will be able to continue operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week without risk of disruption. A vehicular underpass is being built in the centre of the site to accommodate road vehicles in the east of the site.
LTA is building the 50ha facility on the site of the former Raffles Country Club golf course. The authority purchased the land as part of the procurement process for the now abandoned Singapore - Kuala Lumpur high-speed project. The high-speed alignment ran across the southern portion of the land concerned but under Singapore law, the authority was required to purchase the entire 100ha site. It will build a new rolling stock depot for the East-West Line on the other 50ha portion of land.
LTA has created a new subsidiary to oversee operation at the facility. And if work continues to proceed to schedule, full operation of the facility will commence in mid-2025.