The Challenges of Delivering the Downtown Line
Signalling System

Robert Cooke1 and Allan Han2

1Technical Authority – Singapore Downtown Line Project, Invensys Rail.

2Project Engineer Signalling, Land Transport Authority, Singapore.


The Downtown Line signalling and platform screen door contract was awarded to Invensys Rail (formerly Westinghouse Brake and Signals) on November 2008 and is scheduled to open in 2017. The total route length of the DTL is approximately 41.9km with 34 stations and an expected ridership of 500,000 per day. The Downtown Line is scheduled to open in 3 phases, with phase 1 opening in 2013.

The challenges faced in signalling the Downtown Line are tremendous such as:

•  Interfacing to contractors based both in Singapore and overseas
•  Provision of a Fixed block signalling system with the CBTC system
•  Development of specific software requirements for unmanned underground system
•  Constant comparison of functions with the newly opened Circle line
•  Delivering from a distributed design team.

The scope of supply includes the following:

•  SIRIUS Communications Based Train Control (CBTC),
•  Safetran Radio 2.4 GHz radio system
•  SystematICS Automatic Train Supervision system,
•  WESTRACE MK2 Computer Based Interlocking and
•  Faiveley Platform Screen Doors.

The paper describes methods put in place by both the Land Transport Authority and Invensys Rail to ensure that the system design meets the contract requirements and operates properly with the interfaces. These include staged integration testing culminating in 2011 with four party testing at the rolling stock test track in China. The challenge of delivering products developed in four different countries is also discussed and we describe the system engineering approach used to define the solution. In a world where resources are scarce and there is a drive to lower project costs against very tight delivery schedules we discuss approaches that have been adopted to design and deliver the signalling and PSD solution.

Keywords: CBTC, Signalling.

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