On Assignment

Exercise Ferrovia: Ensuring a Safe Public Transport Network

More than 250 persons from four different organisations took part in the latest emergency preparedness exercise.
SPF-SCDF Exercise Ferrovia 01
PHOTOS: Singapore Police Force. Graphic: Hong Wei En.

Organised by the Singapore Police Force and supported by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Land Transport Authority (LTA) and SMRT Trains (SMRT), Exercise Ferrovia is the third and most extensive inter-agency ground deployment exercise held at an MRT station.

With an ever-evolving security landscape and the public transport network being a prime target for terrorists, Exercise Ferrovia allowed the Home Team agencies to work with LTA and the public transport operators to validate contingency plans and strengthen coordination to respond effectively in times of emergencies.

The exercise also allowed SMRT to evaluate their new artificial intelligence-enabled closed-circuit televisions (CCTV) (iSecurity) in detecting anomalies that occur within the stations.

Here is a recap of the two scenarios played out during the exercise in the early morning of 24 May 2023.

Scenario 1: SMRT’s new CCTV cameras detected a suspicious article — a lone, unattended piece of luggage. Police were alerted, and the Public Transport Security Command (TransCom), Central Police Division and the Special Operations Command’s K-9 unit arrived at the scene to investigate.

SPF-SCDF Exercise Ferrovia 02
Police cordoned off the area for public safety. PHOTO: Singapore Police Force.

SPF-SCDF Exercise Ferrovia 03
Our trusty K-9 dog detected a threat within the unattended luggage. PHOTO: Singapore Police Force.

SPF-SCDF Exercise Ferrovia 04
Police cleared out the area before an explosive was denotated in a controlled environment. PHOTO: Singapore Police Force.

Scenario 2:  During a “busy day” at Raffles Place MRT station, four assailants unleashed a coordinated armed attack. Officers from TransCom, Central Police Division and Gurkha Contingent were called in to neutralise the assailants.

SPF-SCDF Exercise Ferrovia 05
Officers from TransCom (middle), Gurkha Contingent (bottom left) and Central Police Division (bottom right) faced off with the assailants. PHOTOS: Singapore Police Force.

SPF-SCDF Exercise Ferrovia 06
Officers successfully neutralised and arrested the assailants. PHOTO: Singapore Police Force.

SPF-SCDF Exercise Ferrovia 07
SCDF officers and police officers worked together to facilitate the rescue of casualties. PHOTO: Singapore Police Force.

It is important to have robust contingency response plans to better deter, detect, delay, deny and deal with a terror attack. Strong community networks will enhance vigilance and boost the ability of the community to respond effectively to a crisis together. Community stakeholders and businesses are encouraged to enhance their emergency preparedness. Refer to the resources on the SGSecure webpage for more information.


Written by

Arvind Chan


1 June 2023

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