The North-South Line: Singapore’s first MRT line
Our extensive MRT system today begun with only five stations on the North-South Line (NSL) connecting Yio Chu Kang to Toa Payoh in 1987. Though it started small, NSL was the first step in Singapore’s grand vision of an integrated transport system.
The 27 stations along the 45km line serves a large number of mature residential estates and takes commuters from Jurong East to Marina South Pier.
Along its route are eight interchanges that connect the NSL to the East-West Line (EWL), Circle Line (CCL), Downtown Line, North East Line (NEL) and Bukit Panjang LRT.
Train and Station Features
Length of rail
Number of stations
Number of interchanges
In 2014, NSL was extended by 1km beyond Marina Bay MRT station to include Marina South Pier MRT station. This station will serve the Marina Bay Cruise Centre, Marina South Pier, as well as future developments in the Marina Bay Downtown area.
In 2019, Canberra MRT station was added between Yishun and Sembawang MRT stations in anticipation of future developments in northern Singapore.
To increase capacity, Jurong East MRT station was retrofitted with two new platforms in 2012. This allows two trains to enter and depart the station at the same time.
System renewal works to NSL as well as EWL are underway to improve reliability and raise capacity. From now till early 2020, improvements will be made to all six core systems. These include:
- Replacing 188 Sleepers on NS and EW Lines.
- 66 new trains will be brought in to replace the first generation trains progressively.
40 new trains will also be brought in to replace the second and third generation trains.
Design and Architecture
Dhoby Ghaut MRT station opened in December 1987 and evolved from a single-line station into Singapore’s first three-line interchange with NEL and CCL. Wayfinding is important so that commuters can navigate quickly and easily, especially with crowds moving around the three lines and station’s multiple exits that serves the neighbouring buildings. Apart from signages, artwork is also designed with wayfinding in mind, and placed strategically to orientate commuters towards the escalator areas.