The Downtown Line (DTL) will be Singapore’s fifth Mass Rapid Transit line. When fully complete, the line will be about 42-km long with 34 stations and serve about half a million commuters daily making it the longest underground and driverless MRT line in Singapore. It will be completed in 3 stages with 6 stations of Downtown Line 1 from Chinatown to Bugis completed in 2013, 12 stations of Downtown Line 2 from Bukit Panjang to Bugis to be completed in 2016 and the 16 stations of Downtown Line 3 in 2017. The Downtown Line will facilitate direct travel from the northwestern and eastern areas of the island to the Central Business District (CBD) and the Marina Bay areas.
Downtown Line 1
The 4.3km DTL1 consists of six stations – Bugis, Promenade, Bayfront, Downtown, Telok Ayer and Chinatown. DTL1 will provide a strategic transport link to serve workers, residents and visitors in the Marina Bay area and other upcoming developments. It will run through some of the busiest corridors in the city such as Bugis and Chinatown and ease congestion at interchange stations like Dhoby Ghaut and Raffles Place stations. The interchange stations at Chinatown and Bugis will provide connectivity to the rest of the rail network.
i) Bugis Station
The new Bugis station is located between Beach Road and North Bridge Road. It comprises a new four level of approximately 200m by 20m wide underground station. Tunnels run alongside and beneath Rochor Road and extend from south of Beach Road to north of Queen Street. The railway tracks are generally about 26m below ground level.
The DTL1 Bugis station is an interchange station with the existing East West Line (EWL) Bugis station. To connect the new station to the existing Bugis station, there are paid & unpaid passenger subway links above the running tunnels, between North Bridge Road & Victoria Street.
Ephemeral by Patrick Chia
Working within the opportunities and constraints afforded by the space, Ephemeral invites commuters to experience the work over time during their daily journeys. The artwork aims to engage each commuter at his or her own moment. Some notice and understand immediately, others experience it differently at each encounter and some may take it in only at a subconscious level.
ii) Promenade Station
Promenade station will serve as one of the two interchange stations for the Circle and Downtown Lines. Access to the station is through the existing entrances. At 42m, Promenade station will also be the deepest station on the MRT network.
Earthcake by Ana Prvacki
Earthcake examines the geology and tradition of Singapore by zooming into the layers of cultural sediment permeating the site. Exposing the stratification of earth and soil as well as history and culture reveals the intertwined strata of thousand-year old soil and a thousand-layer cake. Conceived as a collage of earth and local kueh—focusing on the kueh—the artwork looks at the quintessential component of Singapore's multi-ethnic fabric—food—a powerful and unifying element essential to its identity and core.
iii) Bayfront Station
Bayfront station serves as an interchange station for the Circle Line Extension and Downtown line. The station comprises of two island platform levels. At upper platform, the train moves towards Marina Bay station for the Circle Line Extension and Downtown station for Downtown line trains. At lower platform, both trains move towards the Promenade station. Access to the station is through the existing entrances.
When The Ship Comes In by Lee Wen
When The Ship Comes In commemorates Singapore as an important port of call for ships in the early days, which saw the meeting of ships from different countries and cultures. The mural is composed of a collage of images of ships drawn by young Singaporeans, ages 7 to 12 based on actual historical ship models as well as pure fantasy and imagination. Through these ships we not only recall our history but also project the children’s hopes for the future serving as a concrete archive of collective social memory.
iv) Downtown Station
Downtown station is a four level underground station with side platforms. Downtown station lies underneath Central Boulevard and is adjacent to Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC). The station will link commuters to neighbouring developments such as Marina Bay Link Mall, MBFC Tower 1 & 2, Marina Bay Suites and The Lawn @ Marina Bay.
Platform level and Artwork at Downtown Station
Leaves by Jason Lim
The artwork draws inspiration from the biological structure of bamboo leaves. Looking through the microscope, the dense cell networks of leaves are a conceptual metaphor for the intricate networks of businesses around the station. The blending hues of green illustrate the vibrancy of the area above. Encountered up close, the mosaic resembles the microscopic view of the biological structure of the bamboo leaves while revealing blades of leaves directing commuter flows when viewed from afar.
v) Telok Ayer Station
Telok Ayer station has two entrances, serving commuters to the area around PWC building, Cecil Street and Amoy Street. A new taxi stand and drop off bay has been provided along Cross Street, conveniently linked to an entrance lift. Future connections include a subterranean retail mall between Chinatown station and Telok Ayer station.
Telok Ayer station and the AIT piece
Charm of Bay by Lim Shing Yee
Historically, Telok Ayer, meaning ‘bay water’ in Malay, is a coastal street along the bay and the main landing site and focal point of settlement for Chinese immigrants. Charm of Bay celebrates the history of the area using abstract forms inspired by plantations and elements of water, each pointing or relating to the next as if passing on a tale about the past. The three large bulbous structures are like primitive monuments, signifing the settling of Chinese immigrants while simultaneously, together with their shadows cast on the floor, mapping the everchanging traffic over time as the past converges with the present. Perceived as whole, the artwork transforms the concourse into a whimsical landscape, greeting commuters.
vi) Chinatown Station
Chinatown station is the interchange station with the existing NEL Chinatown station. The new station is about 450m by 21m in size. The station is connected to Telok Ayer by 200m of connecting tunnels. The station has one entrance located at Hong Lim Complex serving commuters to the areas around Upper Cross Street, Cross Street, South Bridge Road, Eu Tong Sen St and New Bridge Road.
Overview of Chinatown station entrance and the AIT piece
Flying Colours by Cheo Chai-Hiang
Flying Colours attempts to translate the mundane hanging of clothes to dry on poles outside windows into one which is festive and celebratory. Created in a lenticular format, commuters will experience the subtle changes in colours, giving the illusion that the clothes are flying in the wind as if in transit. The artwork spans the concourse and leads commuters to the platforms.
Train Frequency of Downtown Line 1
The 4.3km DTL1 will operate with six trains. Each trip between Bugis and Chinatown will take about nine to ten minutes. Including the longer dwell time provided at terminal stations which are also busy interchange stations, DTL1 trains will run at frequencies of four minutes during peak and five minutes during off-peak hours.
When the DTL is fully operational and more trains are added to the system, LTA will run trains at shorter frequencies.
Downtown Line 2
The 16.6km long Downtown Line 2 comprises one depot and 12 stations, including four interchange stations at Little India, Newton, Botanic Gardens and Bukit Panjang. These four interchange stations will link to the North East Line (NEL), North South Line (NSL), Circle Line (CCL) and Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT) respectively, giving commuters greater accessibility to the rest of the island and significantly improving travel time. For example, a trip from Bukit Panjang to the city centre that now takes 60 minutes will be shortened by one-third.
Tunnelling along the DTL2 started in Jun 2011 and tunnelling has completed in all sectors except the tunnels linking King Albert Park Station and Botanic Gardens Station which are expected to complete in 1st quarter of 2014. Installation of tracks at the Gali Batu depot has also been completed and track laying has since gone into the mainline.
Overall stations and tunnels are about 70% complete. Several stations have achieved Basic Structural Completion to allow starting of Electrical and Mechanical installation works and this will progressively be achieved at all 12 stations by middle of 2014. Integrated System tests will then be carried out followed by test running of trains. DTL2 is on track to be completed by 2016.
Downtown Line 3
The 21-km long Downtown Line 3 is the final stretch of the 42-km Downtown Line. It will enhance rail connectivity in the eastern corridors to the Central Business District (CBD) and developments in the Marina Bay area. Fully underground, DTL3 comprises 16 stations, including three interchange stations: MacPherson, Tampines and Expo. These interchange stations will link to the Circle Line (CCL) and the East West Line (EWL), providing greater accessibility and significantly improve travel time for commuters. For example, with a direct connection from Fort Canning station to the Marina Bay area, a train ride will take only 15 minutes, compared to the current 35 minutes by bus.
Tunnelling along the stretch of the DTL3 started in Jul 2012. The tunnelling works along DTL3 present a range of challenges as the alignment traverses through a built-up corridor and in varying ground conditions such as soft Marine Clay, Jurong Formation, Fort Canning Boulder Bed and Old Alluvium soils.
Overall stations and tunnels are about 50% complete. Station excavation work has started for most of the stations. All 16 stations are expected to achieve Basic Structural Completion by 2015, following which Electrical and Mechanical works and test running of trains will be carried out. DTL3 is on track to be completed by 2017.