The Rail Report: On Track for More Comfortable Journeys, Shorter Waiting Times and More Travel Options

News Releases 18 Dec 2014 MRT network

1.        The MRT network is the backbone of our public transport system. To better serve commuters and meet the expected increase in public transport ridership over the next two decades, we have been enhancing the existing infrastructure and adding new trains and new lines.


Upgrading the Current Rail Network

48% Increase in Existing Train Fleet Underway

2.        More trains will be added to our existing lines every year from 2015 to 2019. The first of the 18 new North East Line (NEL) and 24 new Circle Line (CCL) trains have already arrived and are currently undergoing testing, and will be progressively put into service from the middle of 2015. The remaining trains will arrive over the next few months. From 2016 to 2019, 57 new trains will be progressively added to the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL), boosting capacity by about 40%.

3.        From November this year, 13 additional train-cars will be progressively put into service for the Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT) system, increasing the fleet size by about 70%. From 2016, 16 new train-cars will arrive for the Sengkang-Punggol LRT (SKPGLRT), increasing the fleet size by about 40%. By then, modification works for 16 of the 41 existing single train-cars for two-car operations will also be completed.

New trains for existing lines will be rolled out yearly from now till 2019


Upgrading of 3 Existing Stations to be Completed Next Year

4.        To enhance accessibility and connectivity to our MRT stations, we are upgrading Clementi, Commonwealth and Queenstown MRT stations. New station entrances, equipped with fare gates and ticketing machines, will be constructed. Each station will have an additional pedestrian link bridge linking the station to the pedestrian pavements on both sides of the stations. Works at the three stations are expected to complete by mid-2015.

Clementi, Commonwealth and Queenstown stations will have new entrances with link bridges connecting to the pedestrian pavements on both sides of the stations


5.        In 2015, we will start works to construct another platform at Tanah Merah station. Today, the middle track at Tanah Merah interchange station is used for trains travelling in both directions between Tanah Merah and Changi Airport stations. With a third platform, we will be able to provide two tracks for trains heading to and from Changi Airport. This will allow trains to arrive and depart the station at shorter intervals, thereby reducing wait times and enabling faster travel to Expo and Changi Airport stations. Works are expected to be completed by 2024.

Artist impression of Tanah Merah MRT station in 2024


All Stations on NEL will have Free WiFi Access by Next Year

6.        In addition to the earlier three stations[1] equipped for free WiFi access, WiFi connection is now available at selected platforms at Bishan, Dhoby Ghaut and Outram Park stations, and will be available at all platforms of these stations by mid-2015[2]. By end-2015, commuters waiting for trains at the platforms of 32 stations will be able to access free WiFi service to check their emails, surf the web, or connect to social media platforms. This will include all the stations on the NEL, and 12 stations at Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Batok, Buona Vista, Choa Chu Kang, Clementi, Eunos, Jurong East, Khatib, Paya Lebar, Sembawang and Yishun. WiFi-connected platforms can be identified by the posters and decals at these stations.

Commuters can now enjoy free WiFi access at six MRT stations. By end-2015, a total of 32 MRT stations – including all NEL stations – will be equipped for free WiFi connection.


76% of Sleeper Replacement Works Completed on NSL

7.        Works to replace timber sleepers with concrete sleepers on the NSEWL are on track for completion on the NSL and the EWL by mid-2015 and end-2016 respectively. As of November this year, about 76% of sleepers on the NSL have been replaced and trains are now travelling at full speed from Yio Chu Kang to Khatib. We are now focusing on lifting speed restrictions for the longer stretches along the NSL. Once the project is completed, commuters can look forward to faster and more comfortable journeys on the NSL and EWL.


73% of Signalling System Upgrading Completed on NSL

8.        We are also upgrading the signalling system for the NSEWL to allow trains to run at intervals of 100 seconds, compared to the shortest possible intervals of 120 seconds today. This means shorter waiting times for commuters and a 20% increase in our rail network capacity.

9.        Upgrading for the NSL is on track for completion by 2016, with the new signalling system now installed at more than 73% of the stations and tracks. New signalling equipment has also been installed and is being tested on 14 trains in the existing fleet. Upgrading for the EWL will commence in early 2015 and is expected to be completed by 2018.

Re-sleepering and re-signalling works on the NSL are progressing well, and on track for completion by mid-2015 and 2016 respectively


Replacement Works on the Third Rail to Start in 2Q2015; OCS to Complete by End-2015

10.      Next year, we will start works to replace the third rail on the NSEWL to improve the reliability of our train services. The design and type testing of the third rail components are currently ongoing, with the first batch of materials to be delivered in 1Q2015 and replacement works to start in 2Q2015. Replacing the third rail will further improve the reliability of the system.  We target to finish the replacement works by end-2016.

11.      To enhance the reliability of the NEL, the LTA-SBST Joint Team has completed the evaluation of alternative materials for Balanced Weight Anchor (BWA) wires and U-bolts, which are components on the Overhead Catenary System (OCS). Replacement works of the BWA wires were completed in October this year. For the U-bolts, replacement works between HarbourFront and Outram Park stations have been completed, and the remaining works are on track to be completed by end-2015.


Phase 1 of Noise Barrier Installation to be Completed by 2016

12.      We have started the first phase of the noise barrier installation works at Admiralty, Marsiling, and Sembawang stations. Phase 1 is on schedule for completion by 2016. We are currently evaluating tender proposals to appoint a contractor for the next set of installation works at nine other locations along Bedok and Eunos in the east; and Clementi and Jurong in the west.

Noise barriers will be installed at nine other locations, including Bedok, Clementi, Eunos and Jurong


New Rail Lines and Stations

13.      New rail lines and stations are being built, even as we upgrade the current rail network. Two lines – the Downtown Line (DTL) and Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) – are currently under construction. We are also adding four more stations on the EWL and one more station on the NSL.
 

90% of DTL2 Construction Works Completed

14.      Construction works for DTL Stages 2 and 3 are progressing well, with DTL2 close to 90% complete and on schedule to open by 1Q2016. Tunnelling along the 12 stations of DTL2 was completed in June 2014, and track laying as well as Electrical and Mechanical (E&M) installation works have commenced for all DTL2 stations.

15.      The 16 stations on the DTL3 are on track to open by 2017. Tunnelling along the DTL3, which started in July 2012, is progressing well with about 95% of all tunnelling works completed. All the DTL3 stations are expected to achieve basic structural completion by 2015; E&M installation works will commence thereafter.

Construction works on DTL 2 and tunnelling works on DTL 3 are progressing well.
The 2 DTL stages are on track for completion by Q1 2016 and 2017.


Tuas West Extension to be Completed by 2016

16.      The 7.5km Tuas West Extension, which comprises four above-ground stations and a twin-tracked viaduct for both rail and road, is slated for completion in 2016. Foundation and substructure works for the viaducts are substantially completed and beam launching for the rail viaducts has commenced. The Tuas West Extension is expected to cater to about 100,000 passengers daily, bringing commuters working in the Jurong and Tuas industrial estates significantly better public transport connectivity and enhanced accessibility once opened for service.

The Tuas West Extension comprises a twin tracked viaduct and four above ground stations


Construction of New Canberra Station on NSL to Start Next Year

17.      LTA has called a tender to construct another station on the NSL between Sembawang and Yishun stations. Canberra station will serve commuters living in nearby estates such as Sembawang Springs, as well as a mix of upcoming public and private residential developments in the neighbourhood. Works on the elevated station will commence in 2Q2015 and are expected to be completed in 2019.

The facade of the new Canberra station


Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) Construction has Commenced

18.      The 31 stations on the TEL will be completed in stages from 2019 to 2024. Works for service utilities and road diversions as well as piling works have commenced for the northern stretch of the TEL. For the eastern stretch, civil tenders will be called in early 2015 with works to commence by end-2015. When completed, the TEL will link commuters to the NSEWL, NEL, CCL and DTL. Commuters will enjoy significant time savings when travelling from the northern parts to the eastern parts of Singapore.

When completed, the Thomson-East Coast Line will provide commuters greater linkages to the existing 5 MRT lines



Expanded Rail Network and Shorter Waiting Times for Commuters

19.      In the coming years, with the completion of these projects, commuters can look forward to shorter waits, and a less crowded and more comfortable journey.


[1] The three stations equipped for free WiFi access from 22 August 2014 are City Hall, Orchard and Raffles Place.

[2] WiFi access is available at Bishan, Dhoby Ghaut, and Outram Park stations, except at Bishan (CCL), Dhoby Ghaut (NEL), and Outram Park (NEL) platforms, which will be ready by mid-2015.

 

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