Factsheet : Rail Network Enhancements - How Will It Benefit You?

News Releases 11 Mar 2014 rail network Committee of Supply (COS)

Expanded Capacity, Shorter Waits and More Travel Options

  1. To increase capacity on our rail network and improve commuter travel experience, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been adding new trains to existing rail lines since 2011. More trains will be added this year and over the next few years. In 2014, commuters can also expect shorter waiting times, especially during off-peak periods as the public transport operators (PTOs) increase the number of train trips to improve train service. Complemented with the upgrading of the North-South East-West Lines’ (NSEWL) signalling system, commuters can expect more frequent train arrivals, less crowding, and more comfortable rides island-wide in the next few years.

(a) Adding more trains

Rail Line

Current no. of train/train-cars

No. of additional trains

To be added in year

Percentage increase from today’s train fleet size

East-West Lines (NSEWL)

128 trains

13 trains

In 2014


28 trains

From 2016

North East Line (NEL)

25 trains

18 trains

From 2015


Circle Line (CCL)

40 trains

24 trains

From 2015


Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT)

19 train-cars

13 train-cars

From 2014


Sengkang-Punggol LRT (SPLRT)

41 train-cars

16 train-cars

From 2016



  1. More trains will be arriving every year on the existing lines. We will see 41 new trains for the NSEWL, 18 for the North East Line (NEL) and 24 for the Circle Line (CCL). This will increase the train fleet of the existing network by 30% for NSEWL, 70% for NEL and 60% for CCL, to meet growing ridership demands.
  2. We are also buying more trains to meet future demand for the LRT system – 13 additional train-cars will be put into service for the Bukit Panjang LRT system from 2014 onwards. On the Sengkang-Punggol LRT (SPLRT) system, LTA will modify 16 of the 41 existing single train-cars so these train-cars can be coupled for two-car operations; 16 more train-cars will also be procured. This will bring the total fleet size to 57 train-cars on the SPLRT, thereby increasing the train fleet by about 40%.

(b) Signalling system upgrade for North-South East-West Lines

  1. To further improve train frequencies, the signalling system for the NSEWL is undergoing a major upgrading programme which started in 2011. This upgrade will allow trains to run at intervals of 100 seconds at peak periods, compared to the existing intervals of 120 seconds. This means shorter waiting times for commuters with six trains every 10 minutes instead of the current five trains, or a 20% improvement to the existing capacity.
  2. Given the complexity of upgrading the signalling system on a line that is in operation, the improved signalling system will be completed in phases, with works on the NSL expected to be completed first in 2016, followed by the EWL about two years later in 2018. This will enable the operator to meet the higher commuter traffic in the medium- to long-term.

(c) New rail lines to provide faster and more connections

  1. At the same time, the government continues to invest in rail infrastructure. Between now and 2021, a new rail line or extension will open nearly every year. The Punggol West LRT is expected to open by the middle of this year. By the end of this year, we will open the Marina South Pier station on the NSL. In 2016, we will extend the Downtown Line (DTL) further with 12 stations connecting Bukit Panjang to Bugis; and add four stations to the EWL with the completion of the Tuas West extension. By 2017, we will complete the DTL by connecting Chinatown to Expo station. Commuters can start enjoying the Thomson Line from 2019 when the first stretch of three stations will be completed. The second stretch of six stations will be completed in 2020 and the final stretch in 2021.
  2. We are also making progress on several new rail lines, such as CCL Stage 6 (to “close the circle”), the Eastern Region Line, the Cross Island Line and the Jurong Region Line. When all our current plans are implemented in 2030, the rail network will double in length to 360km, more than seven times the length of Singapore, and increase rail density to surpass that of London and New York today.
  3. By working closely with the planning and housing authorities, there will be around 280 stations compared to about 130 today and we expect that by then, about eight in 10 households will be within a 10-minute walk from a train station. This means that many commuters will no longer need to rely on bus feeders to get to the MRT station. With shorter, more direct train routes from more parts of the island, journey times will also come down.

Quieter Homes Near MRT Lines Earlier

(a) Some 20km of railway noise barriers to be completed ahead of schedule in 2019

  1. To minimise railway noise near residential areas, LTA announced last year that some 20km of noise barriers will be installed along elevated railway tracks where noise levels exceed 67 decibels averaged over an hour. Installation of noise barriers is expected to bring down railway noise levels by five to 10 decibels.
  2. Works to construct and install these barriers will be closely coordinated with other rail improvement works such as upgrading of the resignalling system and replacement of sleepers on the NSEWL. In tandem with these other works, the railway noise barrier programme will now be accelerated with about 20km of railway noise barriers expected to be completed by 2019 instead of 2020 announced last year. In the meantime, LTA will continue to work with the operator to further tighten the maintenance regime of the tracks and trains, so that railway noise is minimised.

(b) Construction and installation of railway noise barriers

  1. The installation plan for these barriers, which will take place in two phases, follows the successful pilot projects at Bishan and Jurong East. In addition, the plainline noise barriers at Jurong East and Tampines were completed in December 2013, while the turnout noise barrier at Toh Guan is on track to be completed by May 2014.
  2. The first set of contracts for works under Phase 1 to install noise barriers at 16 locations had been awarded in December 2013 and design of the noise barriers is in progress. In the third quarter of this year, LTA will call for another contract to install noise barriers at the following nine locations, to be completed by 2016:







Pan Island Expressway

Simei Street 1



Bedok Park Connector

Bedok Road



Siglap Park Connector

Lorong Mydin



Eunos Road 2

Eunos Road 5



Paya Lebar Road

Geylang East Avenue 1



Lorong 3 Geylang

Lorong 1 Geylang








Clementi Road

Clementi MRT Station



Jurong East Central

Block 107 Jurong East Street 13



Lakeside MRT Station

Corporation Road


 Phase 2 of the programme is projected to begin around 2016. We are currently finalising the implementation aspects of the Phase 2 programme, and expect to announce details next year.

With the completion of the noise barriers, residents living near to elevated MRT tracks can look forward to an improved living environment with noise levels perceptibly reduced.

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