Experts explain adverse cases

BidVertiser

Rail signal system report reviewed

The Government has completed the review of a report on the postponement of the commissioning of the East Rail Line new signalling system by the investigation panel and the related technical investigation report received from the Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTRC) on January 21.   Since the incident was revealed on September 10 last year, relevant government departments have monitored the technical investigation conducted by the MTRC.   The investigation included reviewing the new signalling system’s data logging, examining the relevant technical documents and software codes, participating in the simulation of the incident and the related testing to confirm the cause of the incident, and evaluating remedial measures.   The investigation panel believed that the route recall issue was not a safety issue, but one of service reliability.   The report also pointed out that it was an error of judgement not to carry out a more detailed investigation earlier after noting the software issue that could potentially cause deviation of trains from their intended route.   The Government considers that the MTRC, being the project manager of the Shatin to Central Link project and with extensive experience in railway operations, should have been able to assess the possible consequences of the incident and take follow-up actions duly, including conducting more thorough investigations, escalating the incident internally, and reporting to the Government.   It is disappointed that the incident has led to the postponement of the commissioning of the East Rail Line new signalling system and mixed-fleet operation, and possible deferral of the commissioning of the cross-harbour section of the East Rail Line, and reserves the right to take further actions against the MTRC.   As for the recommendations proposed by the investigation panel, the Government has urged for early implementation by MTRC and would closely monitor the implementation progress and effectiveness.   The Government also expects that with the establishment of the Shatin to Central Link Technical & Engineering Assurance Team under the leadership of the Chief Executive Officer, and the implementation of other enhancement measures, the MTRC would effectively monitor its internal governance to ensure the smooth implementation of the project.   After the incident, the MTRC reported to the Government that the software routine which caused the incident has been changed and submitted the service reliability report as requested for review by relevant government departments.   Upon stringent review and extensive testing, the relevant government departments confirmed that the East Rail Line new signalling system and the new nine-car trains were safe and ready for operation. The Electrical & Mechanical Services Department's relevant notification was issued to the MTRC today.   The MTRC plans to commence the East Rail Line new signalling system and the new nine-car trains on February 6, and progressively replace the existing 12-car trains.   The Government will continue to monitor the new signalling system, the new trains and the mixed-fleet operation with new and existing trains to ensure railway safety and reliability.
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