Joo Koon’s Collision Investigation Concluded: It’s a Software Fault. So Not Woke, Indeed

If you recall, there was a MRT collision in Joo Koon just last month, wherein two trains collided and caused a total of 29 people to be taken to hospital.

After a fair bit of research and investigation, it was revealed that the collision was apparently due to a software fault.


And now, one month after the widely-publicised incident, the true reason has been revealed:

The Joo Koon train collision was indeed due to a “software logic issue”.

Image: Imgur
Image: Imgflip

Investigations have been completed

On 18 Dec, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that it has completed investigations into the incident, and concluded that “a “software logic issue” with the new signalling system and a “confluence of failure conditions” caused the train collision at Joo Koon MRT station on Nov 15, 2017.

In addition, it mentioned that its findings are in line with initial findings showcased at a media briefing last month. It has also confirmed its findings with the final investigation report submitted by signalling system supplier Thales.

As a result, operations on the Tuas West Extension (from Joo Koon to Tuas Link MRT Stations) have been segregated from the rest of the East-West Line (EWL) since 20 November.

Thales has also set about “modifying the software logic of the CBTC system to prevent future inadvertent disabling of the protective “bubble”.

Simulation Facility

According to LTA, Thales will be establishing a CBTC simulation facility in Singapore to “strengthen testing processes” for the new signalling system in the North-South and East-West Lines.

The first phase of the facility’s expected to finish by the first half of 2018, and off-site testing of the East-West Line’s CBTC signalling system will be enabled before it’s fully pushed out.

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“When completed, this facility will be the first of its kind outside Paris/Toronto where Thales is based,” LTA said, adding that the “second phase will be complete by end-2018”.

“This new facility will allow us to perform additional simulation tests which are tailored to the environmental and infrastructural conditions of the rail network in Singapore. The facility will also enhance our ability to test solutions for CBTC issues in a controlled setting without affecting train services,” LTA said.

LTA might yet take action

LTA has said that it “reserves the right to take appropriate action against parties involved in the collision”.

However, it noted that Thales has admitted its mistake and apologised to the public.

“LTA’s immediate priority is to ensure the timely delivery of the multiple asset renewal works in the pipeline so as to improve rail reliability,” said the authority.

“We will continue to work closely with SMRT and Thales to safely complete the upgrading of the signalling system for the North-South and East-West Lines as soon as possible.”

What does it mean for the rest of us?

In summary, there are two key points you should take note of:

  • Investigations have been ongoing for the past one month, and the results have been confirmed to be in line with previous findings.
  • LTA and Thales are working to ensure a more fail-safe system.

I mean, I’m not exactly a SMRT fan…

But you can’t deny it; it sounds way better than before.

Which leads me to think:

“Maybe the future ain’t so bleak-looking after all?”

P.s. this isn’t an advertorial.

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Featured image: Malay Mail Online