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Singapore MRT

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    Singapore MRT

    Take a ride with me on the new Down Town Line, from Newton to Stevens station:

    I might have to ride that line just so I can stand up front and see where we are going. It does make you wonder if the headlights are just there so the passengers can see. With no driver there is no need for headlights and with stations having a barrier at the tracks edge riders can not stick their head out to look for the train coming down the tunnel.


    • ombugge
      ombugge commented
      Editing a comment
      You may notice there are also signal lights at each station. Red when the train is stationary, green when it moves on. Why?
      I presume there are somebody watching on CCTV in the Control Room, but not one Operator for each train?
      Mark may be able and willing to explain, since he know all about these things.

      PS> Not only DT Line but all the latest MRT lines and all the LRT lines in Singapore are driverless. Only the two oldest lines (N/E and E/W lines) has a driver on board. I don't know for how long though, as they are working on upgrading these lines, which is from "way back" in the 1980s.

    Here is a schematic map of existing MRT Lines in Singapore in 2015:
    Some MRT lines presently planned and approved, or under construction are also indicated.

    There are more under discussion and speculation. Here is what it may look like in 2030:


      Yup - like Ombugge says, you need a clever Control Centre if you don't have people on the train - not for normal operation, the trains get told to go automatically, and they individually drive themselves around the network fully automatically, and under the protection of a very clever protection system. People are necessary to sort out problems when things go wrong - and that will normally be due to people, perhaps a passenger falling ill or something getting stuck in the doors. As Ombugge supposes, two or three people in the control room - not one per train.

      There's a lot more to it than that though - too much for here.

      Bit more public domain stuff here:

      I had several happy years working on the signalling and automated systems on the NSEW lines in the 1990s - long before Norway 'happened' to me!!



      • ombugge
        ombugge commented
        Editing a comment
        Somebody getting their foot stuck in the gap between the train and the platform appears to be the most common problem.
        At every stop there is an announcement in the four official languages, which says "Mind the platform gap", yet it happens quite regularly that somebody get stuck and have to be freed, either by other passengers and station staff using soap or some other means of lubrication, or by the Civil Rescue Service with hydraulic jacks. Meanwhile the trains back up behind the stuck one, one every 2 - 3 min.

      Singapore is famous for it's many campaignes. At present it is to get women to have babies early and as many as possible.
      Where better to get the word out than in MRT stations, where millions of people will see it, every day?

      You got the message? Now go home and DO something.


        Driverless MRT trains are old hat in Singapore, (Since 2009)
        Now come driverless buses:
        That means less imported "Bus Captains" from China, India and Malaysia.

        Driverless taxies are already on trial in Singapore:


          ​In Singapore we have a network of commuter train lines that is steadily expanding at great expense to the taxpayers, but I have noticed that the two oldest MRT lines are getting a bit dated, with the stations starting to look worn and the air-conditioning not very efficient anymore.
          But how do you upgrade busy MRT stations while keeping the train services running smoothly??

          On the other side of the world, Oslo's "T-Bane" is in need of upgrading to serve the public better and get more people off the roads, but apparently the world's richest country cannot afford to do anything about it:

          Oslo considering acquiring a semiautomatic control system where trains run automatically, but monitored by a train driver who instead will be responsible for security in connection with the monitoring of door closure.

          Sounds like they are "upgrading" to the same level as the oldest MRT lines were designed with 30 years ago??


            First of the 57 new trains for the N/S and E/W lines are rolling:
            Woow, the waiting time between trains during peak hours will be cut from 120 sec. to only 100 sec. a saving of full 20 sec.

            Doesn't sound like much?? Well it means that there will be more trains/hr. hence larger pax capacity and less crowded during that time, which is important to stressed out Singaporeans.
            But can the old and worn stations take the extra load of stressed out people??