Photo: wouft.org

Singapore January 24 2017 – The Singapore LTA released a rail report outlining the planned initiatives to be undertaken in 2017.

The key points mentioned were:

  • expanding the rail network by 15 per cent
  • installaltion of new signalling systems
  • completion of third rail system
  • replacement of all first generation trains
  • tunneling work to commence
  • study possible line to new Changi airport terminal 5

In 2017, commuters in Singapore can look forward to the opening of the Tuas West extension (TWE) and the Downtown line 3 (DTL3), expanding the rail network by 15 per cent.

Re-signalling works on the trains, stations, depots and the Operations Control Centre for the North-South Line were completed last year, and final testing has commenced. The LTA will transit to the new signalling system progressively, starting from March this year.

The upgraded re-signalling system will allow trains to be run closer together. This means that during peak periods trains will arrive within 100 seconds of each other, better than the current time of 120 seconds. This higher train frequency during peak periods will result in an increase in train capacity of up to 20 per cent.

Works to replace the third rail system on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL), which started in mid-2015, are nearing completion. The new system will enhance the reliability of the power supply to trains.

The LTA will be calling a tender to replace the 66 first-generation trains on the NSEWL. Both the NSEWL first-generation trains and its backend power supply system have been in use since 1987 and are near the end of their design life.

The opening of TWE and DTL3 will add another 15 per cent of track length to our rail network, to about 228 kilometres.

TWE, with four stations, is expected to begin operations in the second quarter of 2017, following the completion of final testing.
Train testing has commenced along parts of DTL3. DTL3 will feature 16 new stations, among them three interchange stations and will provide a rail connection from Fort Canning station to the Marina Bay area, and the train ride will take only 15 minutes, compared to 35 minutes by bus currently.

Tunnelling work for the first ten stations of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) are 60 per cent complete, while the tunnelling works for the stretch between Mount Pleasant to Gardens by the Bay are 15 per cent complete. For the East Coast stretch (Tanjong Rhu to Sungei Bedok), tunnelling works are expected to commence in the second half of this year.

The LTA is also studying the possibility of extending the TEL from Sungei Bedok to serve the future Changi Airport Terminal 5; further extending it to call at the existing Changi Airport MRT station.