1 Commuters will be able to ride the Downtown Line 2 (DTL2) starting from 27 December 2015 (Sunday). The 16.6 km DTL2 runs from Bukit Panjang, along the school district and food enclaves of Bukit Timah Road, before connecting to the six Downtown Line 1 stations1.
2 The opening of DTL1 and DTL2 will facilitate direct travel from the north-western parts of Singapore to the Central Business District (CBD) and the Marina Bay area. Commuters will benefit from better accessibility to other parts of the island with connections at eight interchange stations. There will be links with the East-West Line at Bugis station; North-South Line at Newton station; North East Line at Little India and Chinatown stations; Circle Line at Botanic Gardens, Bayfront and Promenade stations; and Bukit Panjang LRT at Bukit Panjang station. Commuters can also expect to see significantly improved travel time. A journey from Bukit Panjang to Bugis today can take about 50 minutes. With DTL, it will take about 30 minutes.
Downtown Line 3 Tunnelling Works Complete
3 For Downtown Line 3 (DTL3), a major milestone was reached with the completion of tunnelling works in June 2015, marking the completion of tunnelling works for the entire 42 km Downtown Line. The project teams will next focus on completing the DTL3 stations, tunnel structures and supporting infrastructures, including the construction of cross-passages, laying of tracks and installation of cables within the tunnels. Within the stations, the installation of the electrical and mechanical works, as well as architectural works will proceed simultaneously over the next one to two years. Finally, trains will go through a rigorous testing and commissioning process to ensure smooth operation of the complete line before the start of passenger service. The DTL3 is on track for completion in 2017.
Upgrading the Current Rail Network
NSL train speeds back to normal with sleepers fully replaced; works begin on EWL
4 Elsewhere on the rail network, works are ongoing every night to renew and upgrade the rail infrastructure. Work to replace sleepers on the North-South Line (NSL) concluded at the end of April this year. In all, 96,000 timber sleepers were replaced with concrete sleepers. With the lifting of speed restrictions on the NSL, train speeds are completely restored and commuters now enjoy smoother rides. Sleeper replacement works on the East-West Line (EWL) began in end-May. In total, more than 92,000 timber sleepers on the viaducts between Boon Lay and Tiong Bahru, and between Lavender and Pasir Ris, will be replaced with concrete sleepers. Works are expected to be completed by end-2016.
90% of signalling system upgrading completed on NSL
5 Upgrading of the signalling system to allow trains to run at shorter intervals of 100 seconds is on track for completion by 2016 for the NSL, and by 2018 for the EWL. The new signalling system is about 90% completed for NSL stations and tracks. New signalling equipment is being tested on 64 out of 141 trains in the current North-South and East-West Line (NSEWL) fleet.
Replacement works on the third rail commence with EWL
6 Starting from this month, replacement of the third rail system along the tunnel stretch of the EWL will commence. We are also calling a tender for third rail system renewal works for NSL. Replacing the third rail will further improve the reliability of the entire system. We target to complete the replacement works by the first quarter of 2017.
Phase 1 of Noise Barrier Installation to be completed by mid-2017
7 The first phase of the noise barrier installation works is progressing well. Site preparation prior to the physical installation of noise barriers has begun in Ang Mo Kio, Commonwealth, Pioneer, Queenstown, Redhill and Yishun. The final phase of installing steel posts and noise barriers at Admiralty, Marsiling, Sembawang, Woodlands, and Yew Tee is scheduled by the end of this year. Phase 1 of the noise barrier installation works is on track for completion in mid-2017.
Free WiFi access at 33 station platforms by end of this year
8 The platforms of 25 MRT stations2 have already been equipped with free WiFi access. By end-2015, commuters waiting for trains at the platforms of another eight stations3 will be able to access free WiFi service to check their emails, surf the web, or connect to social media platforms. WiFi-connected platforms can be identified by the posters and decals at these stations.
Improving Train Reliability
9 Improving the reliability of our train system has been, and remains, our topmost priority. We have made steady progress in the last four years, and the level of reliability is now back to or better than the levels in 2007. At the network level, trains now travel on average more than double the distance (about 127,000 km) before experiencing a delay of more than five minutes, and almost triple the distance (about 111,000 km) before an unscheduled withdrawal has to be made. For our oldest line, the North-South East-West Line (NSEWL), we have halved the normalised train withdrawal rate to 1.1 in 2014 from 2.2 in 2013; this brings us back to the standards we had in 2007. The normalised rate of service delays lasting more than five minutes for the NSEWL has also fallen to 1.3 delays in 2014 from 1.6 delays in 2012.
10 This improvement has resulted from the constant and intense effort of the LTA-SMRT and LTA-SBST Joint Teams, which were formed in June 2012 to reduce disruptions and increase the reliability of the rail system. Most incidents are a result of technical faults due to the power, train or signalling system. The joint teams take a deeper, systematic look at how to pro-actively anticipate vulnerabilities and reduce the number of incidents. The idea is to deal comprehensively with all the potential faults by working out the full list of things that need to be done with the more important ones to be dealt with first.
11 There is room for further improvement, and we will continue to invest more resources, introduce new technologies, adopt innovative maintenance approaches, and upgrade equipment, to keep up the momentum of improvements of the last five years.
More New Trains
12 From 2015 to 2019, another 99 more trains will be added to our existing lines. Since June this year, seven new trains have joined the Circle Line (CCL)’s existing fleet of 40 trains. Another five new trains will be put into service by the end of this year; all 24 new CCL trains will be added by the middle of 2016, boosting capacity by up to 60%4. On the North East Line (NEL), 18 new trains will also be progressively added from now until end-2016, increasing the total fleet to 43 trains, and the capacity of NEL by more than 70%5. From 2016 to 2019, 57 new trains will be progressively added to the NSEWL. With the new trains added to the system, commuters will experience shorter waiting times and less crowded train rides.
13 The rail improvement plans and new trains are part of LTA’s ongoing efforts to improve the rail network so that commuters can look forward to shorter waits, and a less crowded and more comfortable journey.
14 To track the progress of our rail reliability plans as well as updates on new trains and train lines, check out our latest app “Getting There Together With You!” on our Facebook page.
1 The six stations of DTL1 - Bugis, Promenade, Bayfront, Downtown, Telok Ayer and Chinatown - commenced operations on 22 December 2013.
2 25 stations refer to: Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bishan, Bukit Batok, Buona Vista, Chinatown, Choa Chu Kang, City Hall, Clarke Quay, Clementi, Dhoby Ghaut (CCL & NSL), Eunos, HarbourFront, Jurong East, Khatib, Orchard, Outram Park, Paya Lebar (CCL), Punggol, Raffles Place, Sembawang, Sengkang, Serangoon, Stadium, and Yishun.
3 Eight stations refer to: Boon Keng, Buangkok, Farrer Park, Hougang, Kovan, Little India, Potong Pasir and Woodleigh.
4 An increase from 40 trains in the CCL fleet prior to 24 June 2015.
5 An increase from 25 trains in the NEL.