SBS Transit collaborates with Siemens Mobility to sustain the high performance of its Downtown MRT Line

Joint News Release Issued by SBS Transit and Siemens Mobility

  • Assurance of sustained availability and reliability of the Downtown Line’s signalling system with a Long-Term Service Support contract;
  • Localisation of capabilities in SBS Transit to maintain, repair and overhaul Point Machines; and
  • Renewal of Memorandum of Understanding to implement Controlguide® Airo to optimise train deployment and enhance customer experience.

SBS Transit, Singapore’s leading public transport operator for bus and rail services, today signed two significant contracts and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Siemens Mobility (SMPL) towards sustaining the high performance of its Downtown MRT Line (DTL) signalling system, while strengthening its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capabilities to support the point machines; and implementing an AI-based train scheduling solution,  Controlguide® Airo, to better cater to passenger demand.

Long-Term Service Support for the Downtown Line Signalling System

The DTL has been using SMPL’s Trainguard Sirius Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling system since it commenced operations in 2013. To be assured of continued safe and reliable operations, SBS Transit has awarded SMPL with a Long-Term Service Support (LTSS) contract which includes the provision of spare parts and technical support for the DTL signalling system. Leveraging its strong onshore and offshore expertise and resources, SMPL will repair faulty components promptly and conduct failure trend analysis for safety and reliability improvements. Additionally, the LTSS contract encompasses obsolescence monitoring and resolution, ensuring timely intervention when the spares become obsolete.

The multi-year LTSS contract until 2047 is part of SBS Transit’s long-term strategy to effectively operate and maintain the DTL's Signalling system throughout its entire life cycle and to provide passengers with safe and reliable journeys every day.

Localisation of Point Machine MRO Capabilities in SBS Transit

A point machine is a critical trackside signalling equipment as it switches the direction of the railway tracks, guiding the train from one track to another and ensuring safe train operations. Currently, MCEM91 point machines are installed on the DTL and the tracks at the Singapore Rail Test Centre under the Land Transport Authority. It will also be installed on the upcoming Jurong Region and Cross Island Lines.

To avoid a long turnaround time for their repairs and maintenance that are conducted overseas, SBS Transit is partnering SMPL to establish a local maintenance centre, which will be housed at SBS Transit’s Component Service Centre. It will also serve as the sole authorised point machine maintenance centre in South-East Asia. Notably, SMPL will provide training to SBS Transit’s engineers to equip them with capabilities in maintenance, repairs and overhaul (MRO) of the MCEM91 point machines as well as the supply of essential spare parts required in maintenance.

This localisation of capabilities within SBS Transit will further solidify and elevate the industry’s local maintenance competencies in providing world-class rail solutions for Singapore’s rail network.

Implementation of Controlguide® Airo to Optimise Train Deployment on the DTL

Both partners have renewed their MOU signed earlier in November 2022 to continue with their efforts to implement SMPL’s Controlguide® Airo, which is an Artificial Intelligence-based solution, to optimise train deployment.

Controlguide® Airo, the first-of-its-kind in the Asia Pacific region, is a unique demand-responsive software that utilises data analytics to detect and predict crowd levels both on trains and at MRT stations, and automatically adjust train schedules to better cater to passenger demand. This advanced solution will enable SBS Transit to deploy its trains more efficiently and potentially reduce its train mileage by up to 5%, thus reducing traction energy consumption and its carbon footprint. Furthermore, Controlguide® Airo will enhance SBS Transit’s ability to prepare and manage unexpected situations, for instance, a sudden surge in passenger numbers due to a concert or sports event.

Mr Jeffrey Sim, Group CEO, SBS Transit said: “This is a strategic partnership with Siemens Mobility which will further strengthen our engineering competency. It will also contribute significantly to enabling us to maintain our DTL performance as the most reliable MRT line globally. We are particularly excited to be designated as the sole authorised point machine maintenance centre in Singapore and South-East Asia, which recognises our engineering capabilities, and underscores our commitment not only to our passengers by providing safe and reliable journeys but also to the industry in building local rail expertise. With the MRT network expanding with the upcoming Jurong Region Line and the Cross Island Line, we place strategic importance in growing our MRO expertise on the Point Machines which are critical in our rail network.”

Mr. Michel Obadia, CEO of Siemens Mobility, Asia-Pacific and Singapore, said: “With these contracts, SBS Transit will benefit from the full suite of Siemens Mobility technologies and service capabilities to ensure Downtown Line’s optimal performance and resilience over the next 25 years’ life-cycle. 

These include the localisation of the service capabilities for the electro-mechanical safety critical point machine, the long term service support of our  Trainguard CBTC solution as well as the implementation of a digital application to enhance the deployment of trains in the Downtown Line network, thanks to the use of  data and artificial intelligence algorithm.

We will continue to collaborate with the local rail ecosystem to develop capabilities that will enable us to maintain Singapore’s rail network safety and reliability performance while providing optimal passenger experience.”