Downtown MRT line

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MRT Singapore Destination 11.png MRT Singapore Destination 12.png
Downtown Line
Downtown Line logo.svg
DT17 Downtown Platform B 1.jpg
Overview
Native nameMalay: Laluan MRT Pusat Bandar
Chinese: 滨海市区地铁线
Tamil: டவுன்டவுன் எம்ஆர்டி வழி
StatusOperational (Stages 1, 2 & 3)
Under construction (Stage 3e)
Under planning (Hume, Stage 2 extension)
OwnerLand Transport Authority
LocaleSingapore
TerminiBukit Panjang
Sungei Kadut (mid-2030s)
Expo
Sungei Bedok (2024)
Stations34 (Operational) [1]
2 (Under construction)
3 (Under planning)
Service
TypeRapid transit
SystemMass Rapid Transit (Singapore)
Services1
Operator(s)SBS Transit DTL (ComfortDelGro Corporation)[2]
Depot(s)Gali Batu
Tai Seng
East Coast (Future)
Rolling stockC951/C951A
Daily ridership251,556 (July 2020)[3]
History
Planned opening2024; 4 years' time (2024) (Stage 3e)
2025; 5 years' time (2025) (Hume)
mid-2030s (Stage 2 extension)
Opened22 December 2013; 6 years ago (2013-12-22) (Stage 1)
27 December 2015; 4 years ago (2015-12-27) (Stage 2)
21 October 2017; 3 years ago (2017-10-21) (Stage 3)
Technical
Line length41.9 km (26.0 mi) (Operational)[1]
2.2 km (1.4 mi) (Under construction)
CharacterFully Underground
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification750 V DC Third rail
Operating speedlimit of 80 km/h
Route map
Downtown MRT Line
 DT1  BP6 
Bukit Panjang
Left arrow  Choa Chu Kang – Via Senja/Petir Right arrow
 DT2 
Cashew
 DT3 
Hillview
 DT4 
Hume
 DT5 
Beauty World
 DT6 
King Albert Park
Bt Timah Canal
 DT7 
Sixth Avenue
 DT8 
Tan Kah Kee
Farrer Road
Left arrow  HarbourFront – Dhoby Ghaut Right arrow
 DT9  CC19 
Botanic Gardens
Left arrow  Gardens by the Bay – Woodlands North Right arrow
 DT10  TE11 
Stevens
 DT11  NS21 
Newton
Left arrow  Marina South Pier – Jurong East Right arrow
Left arrow  HarbourFront – Punggol Right arrow
 DT12  NE7 
Little India
 DT13 
Rochor
Loop
Left arrow  via Bencoolen – via Jalan Besar Right arrow
Left arrow  Tuas Link – Pasir Ris Right arrow
 DT14  EW12 
Bugis
  HarbourFront Right arrow
 DT15  CC4 
Promenade
Marina Reservoir
  Dhoby Ghaut Left arrow
 DT16  CE1 
Bayfront
  Marina Bay Down arrow
Left arrow  Jurong East – Marina South Pier Right arrow
 DT17 
Downtown
 DT18 
Telok Ayer
 DT19  NE4 
Chinatown
Left arrow  Punggol – HarbourFront Right arrow
Singapore River
 DT20 
Fort Canning
Left arrow  HarbourFront – Punggol Right arrow
Left arrow  Marina South Pier – Jurong East Right arrow
Left arrow  HarbourFront – Dhoby Ghaut Right arrow
 DT21 
Bencoolen
Loop
Left arrow  via Bugis – via Rochor Right arrow
 DT22 
Jalan Besar
 DT23 
Bendemeer
Kallang River
 DT24 
Geylang Bahru
 DT25 
Mattar
Pelton Canal
Left arrow  Dhoby Ghaut – HarbourFront Right arrow
 DT26  CC10 
MacPherson
 DT27 
Ubi
 DT28 
Kaki Bukit
 DT29 
Bedok North
 DT30 
Bedok Reservoir
Bedok Canal
 DT31 
Tampines West
Canal
 DT32  EW2 
Tampines
Left arrow  Tuas Link – Pasir Ris Right arrow
 DT33 
Tampines East
 DT34 
Upper Changi
 DT35  CG1 
Expo
Left arrow  Tanah Merah – Changi Airport Right arrow
 DT36 
Xilin
Bedok River
 DT37  TE31 
Sungei Bedok
Left arrow  Woodlands North

The Downtown Line (DTL) is a medium-capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line in Singapore operated by the SBS Transit company. It currently runs from Bukit Panjang station in the north-west to Expo station in the east via the Central Area. Coloured blue on the rail map, the line serves 34 stations, all of which are underground.[2] The DTL is the fifth MRT line on the network to be opened and the third line to be entirely underground. It is the second MRT line to be operated by SBS Transit, after the North East Line.

Originally planned as three separate lines, the lines merged into the Downtown Line in 2007 and construction began in three stages. The first section, from Bugis to Chinatown station, opened in December 2013, followed by the second section from Bukit Panjang to Rochor station opening in December 2015. The third and final stage, from Fort Canning to Expo station, opened in October 2017. At 41.9 kilometres (26.0 mi), the DTL is currently the longest underground and automated rapid transit line in Singapore.[1] The train utilises the Bombardier Movia C951 which runs in a three-car formation on the line.

The line is set to be further extended in the near future. Stage 3e, an extension of the line to Sungei Bedok, is under construction and is scheduled to begin operations in 2024,[4] while a new infill station, Hume station, is planned to open in 2025.[5] An extension to connect with the North South line at Sungei Kadut station is also being planned and set to open in the 2030s.[6] When fully completed in 2024, the line will be about 44 kilometres (27 mi) long with 36 stations, and will serve more than half a million commuters daily.[7]

History[edit]

Background and inception[edit]

At the official opening of the Dover station on 23 October 2001, then-Minister for Communications and Information Technology Yeo Cheow Tong announced three MRT lines, two of which―the Bukit Timah Line and the northern part of the Eastern Region Line―will be part of today's DTL. The Bukit Timah Line aimed to alleviate the traffic problems along the Bukit Timah and Dunearn Road corridor, and provide a direct link to the city area for residents in Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang. The proposed Eastern Region Line, slated to be a loop in the eastern regions, aimed to relieve the passenger load on the often-congested East West line and benefiting those living in Tampines, Bedok and Marine Parade.[8]:16―17[9][10]

On 14 June 2005, the Land Transport Authority announced the Downtown Extension (renamed to "Downtown Line Stage 1"), which will serve the New Downtown at Marina Bay area, where an integrated resort (Marina Bay Sands) and Singapore's second botanical garden (Gardens by the Bay) were to be located. The 3.4-kilometre (2.1 mi) fully underground line was estimated to cost S$1.4 billion.[11] On 27 April 2007, then Transport Minister Raymond Lim announced that the newly christened Downtown Line would be built in three stages stretching 40 kilometres (25 mi) with 33 stations.[12][13][14][15]

Construction and opening[edit]

The construction of DTL tunnels near Clarke Quay. The diversion of the Singapore River for construction works for the tunnels between the Chinatown and Fort Canning stations was considered an engineering feat at the time.[16][17][18]
A separate entrance for the DTL platforms for Tampines MRT station, which is not directly connected to the EWL platforms of the station.

The line was built in 3 stages: Stage 1 of the Downtown line, stretching 4.3-kilometre (2.7 mi), started construction in January 2008 at Chinatown station[8]:30, where platform provisions were built to facilitate an interchange station during the construction of the North East line. It began service on 22 December 2013,[19] with its official inauguration made on the day before by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.[20]

Stage 2, first conceptualized and announced as the Bukit Timah line on 23 October 2001, is 16.6 kilometres (10.3 mi) long with 12 stations connecting Bukit Panjang and Rochor stations, including four interchange stations. Construction for Stage 2 began on 3 July 2009 with a groundbreaking ceremony at Beauty World station.[21][22][23][24]

Stage 3 goes from Chinatown to Expo. The station locations and finalised route were unveiled on 20 August 2010.[25][26] Stage 3 of the Downtown line is 21 kilometres (13 mi) long and serve 16 stations.[1][27] The route opened on 21 October 2017,[28] with free travel for all DTL stations on the first two days of the line completion.[29][30]

The line, with an estimated cost of S$12 billion, was considered the government's most ambitious rail project. The cost exceeded those of the Circle Line (at $6.7 billion) and the North East Line (at $4.6 billion). Final costs of building the line may reach an estimated about S$20.7 billion, up more than 70% from the initial estimation, due to sharp rises in construction costs and a number of changes in plans.[31][8]:19.

In October 2014, it was announced that Stage 2's opening would be pushed back to the first quarter of 2016. This was because one of the main contractors for the DTL2, Alpine Bau (which was building King Albert Park, Sixth Avenue and Tan Kah Kee), went bankrupt in mid-2013.[32] On 28 June 2015, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced that the delay was "completely resolved" by the authorities and Stage 2's opening date was brought forward to 27 December 2015.[33][34] The DTL 3 started operations on 21 October 2017, officially opened by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.[35][36][37]

To serve the line, the Gali Batu Depot was opened in December 2015 to stable 42 trains. It is situated at part of the former Kwong Hou Sua Teochew Cemetery off Woodlands Road.[38] Also in February that year, the Land Transport Authority announced that the capacity of the depot will be expanded to stable 81 trains by 2019.[39]

Future[edit]

On 17 January 2013, plans were announced for a southern extension extending from Expo to connect with the East Region line (now the Thomson-East Coast line (TEL)). The extension was to provide more travel options and enhance connectivity for the residents along the East Coast.[40][41] The Downtown Line 3 extension (DTL3e) was finalised and announced on 15 August 2014, in conjunction with the announcement of the Thomson–East Coast line.[42] Two stations, Xilin MRT station and Sungei Bedok MRT station, will be added to the Downtown Line, with Sungei Bedok as an interchange station with the Thomson–East Coast line. It will lengthen the line by 2.2 km (1.4 mi).[42] Expected to be completed in 2024, Stage 3e will connnect the current East West line at Expo station and the future TEL at Sungei Bedok station.[43]

On 7 March 2019, Hume station was announced to be opened by 2025 to better serve Hillview residents.[5][44] An additional extension to the Downtown Line to Sungei Kadut station from Bukit Panjang station was announced on 25 May 2019 by the LTA. The extension is set to cut down travel time to the downtown area by up to 30 minutes for those living in the northwestern area of Singapore. The extension is expected to be completed by the mid-2030s. A study will also be conducted to determine the stops to be added between the Sungei Kadut and the existing Bukit Panjang stations.[6]

Notable incidents[edit]

A malfunction in the platform screen doors at Botanic Gardens station resulted in trains bypassing the station and a seven-hour disruption on 3 May 2017. Downtown line operator SBS Transit said that the doors malfunctioned at 5:45 am due to a signalling-related fault, and could not open automatically. The fault was rectified at 12:54 pm and the platform reopened for passenger service, with the affected door remaining closed for repairs.[45]

Network and operations[edit]

Route[edit]

Geographically accurate map of the Downtown MRT line.

The Downtown line generally goes in an east-west direction from Bukit Panjang in the northwestern side of Singapore, through the downtown area of Singapore, to Tampines and the Singapore Expo in the east. It is 41.9 kilometres (26.0 mi) long and is entirely underground. Before Bukit Panjang station, there exists a brief northwards extension to the line's depot Gali Batu Depot. The line currently begins at the Bukit Panjang station[46] and then goes in the southeast direction, running parallel to Upper Bukit Timah Road and along the Bukit Timah Canal through Bukit Timah.[47] The line then enters the central area, passing through Little India station[48] before reaching the Central Business District via Bugis station.[49] The Downtown line runs parallel to the Circle line at the Promenade[50] and Bayfront stations.[51] Passing through the Downtown Core, the line interchanges with the North East line at Chinatown station.

After Chinatown station, the line goes in a northeast direction and under the Singapore River.[52] Between the Bencoolen and Jalan Besar stations, the line intersects itself, the first MRT line to do so.[53] After Geylang Bahru station, the line continues in a general eastwards direction,[54] through the industrial areas of Kampong Ubi and Kaki Bukit (briefly paralleling Ubi Avenue 2 and Kaki Bukit Avenue 1),[55] before continuing towards the Tampines Regional Centre and goes southwards, ending at Changi Business Park.[56] The DTL3 extension (DTL3e) from Expo station will extend the line further towards the Thomson–East Coast line at Sungei Bedok station.[57][58]

Stations[edit]

Active route map information system of Downtown line
Station number Station name Image Interchange and notes
 DT–  NS6  Sungei Kadut Interchange with the North South line (mid 2030s)[59][60]
 DT1 = BP6  Bukit Panjang Bukitpanjangmrtplatform.jpg Connected to the Bukit Panjang LRT
 DT2  Cashew DT2 Cashew Feb 2020.jpg
 DT3  Hillview DT3 Hillview Sep 2020.jpg
 DT4  Hume Infill station (2025)
 DT5  Beauty World Beauty World MRT Exit B.JPG
 DT6  King Albert Park DT6 King Albert Park Platform B.jpg
 DT7  Sixth Avenue DT7 Sixth Avenue Platform level.jpg
 DT8  Tan Kah Kee Tankahkeemrt.jpg
 DT9  CC19  Botanic Gardens Botanic Gardens MRT Station (DTL) - Platform B.jpg Interchange with the Circle line
 DT10  TE11  Stevens DT10 Stevens MRT Exit A.jpg Interchange with the Thomson–East Coast line (2021)
 DT11 = NS21  Newton Art in transit Newton downtown.jpg Connected to the North South line
 DT12  NE7  Little India 2016-04-03 Little India MRT Station 05.jpg Interchange with the North East line
 DT13  Rochor Rochor-mrt-station-platform.jpg
 DT14  EW12  Bugis Bugis MRT Station.JPG Interchange with the East West line
 DT15  CC4  Promenade DT15 Promenade Platform D.jpg Interchange with the Circle line
 DT16  CE1  Bayfront Bayfront MRT Station (DTL) - Platform A.jpg Cross-platform interchange with the Circle line
 DT17  Downtown Exit C of Downtown MRT Station.jpg
 DT18  Telok Ayer DT18 Telok Ayer station (11690518516).jpg
 DT19  NE4  Chinatown Chinatown Station Downtown Line Platform 201401.jpg Interchange with the North East line
 DT20  Fort Canning DT20 Fort Canning station.jpg
 DT21  Bencoolen DT21 Bencoolen station.jpg
 DT22  Jalan Besar DT22 Jalan Besar station.jpg
 DT23  Bendemeer DT23 Bendemeer station.jpg
 DT24  Geylang Bahru DT24 Geylang Bahru Platform.jpg
 DT25  Mattar DT25 Mattar station.jpg
 DT26  CC10  MacPherson DT26 MacPherson MRT Platform.jpg Interchange with the Circle line
 DT27  Ubi DT27 Ubi station.jpg
 DT28  Kaki Bukit DT28 Kaki Bukit station.jpg
 DT29  Bedok North DT29 Bedok North station.jpg
 DT30  Bedok Reservoir DT30 Bedok Reservoir station.jpg
 DT31  Tampines West DT31 Tampines West station.jpg
 DT32 = EW2  Tampines DT32 Tampines station.jpg Connected to the East West line
 DT33  Tampines East DT33 Tampines East station.jpg
 DT34  Upper Changi DT34 Upper Changi station.jpg
 DT35  CG1  Expo DT35 Expo station.jpg Interchange with the East West line's Changi Airport branch line

Thomson–East Coast line (2040) Changi Branch Line will be converted to become part of TELe by 2040[59][60]

Downtown line extension (under construction, to be ready by 2024)
 DT36  Xilin
 DT37  TE31  Sungei Bedok Interchange with the Thomson–East Coast line (2024)

Rolling stock[edit]

Gali Batu Depot which houses the Bombardier C951 trains.

Currently, the Downtown line has one type of rolling stock, the Bombardier MOVIA C951 cars,[61] running in a three-car formation. They have been stabled at Gali Batu Depot since it opened with Stage 2 of the downtown line on 27 December 2015. For the period between the opening of Stage 1 and that of Stage 2, trains were stabled at a maintenance facility that was built at Marina Bay as part of the Circle line project. Kim Chuan Depot housed the Operations Control Centre for the Downtown Line Stage 1 until Gali Batu Depot was ready.[62]

On 12 October 2012, the first of 11 trains for the line arrived at Jurong Port. It was transported to Kim Chuan Depot to undergo testing by the LTA before it was handed over to SBS Transit.[63] As of 28 February 2013, Bombardier had delivered five of the 11 trains for Downtown line stage 1.[64] LTA together with the operator, SBS Transit, conducted the necessary tests to ensure safety standards, functional performance and systems compatibility requirements were met before revenue service began on 22 December 2013.[65]

Testing for Stage 2 began on 25 October 2015 and rolling stock that was delivered to Gali Batu Depot commenced service in Stage 1 on 21 October 2015. Kim Chuan Depot, together with the adjacent Tai Seng Facility Building, operated in a minor capacity until Stage 3 opened. A new depot, named the East Coast Integrated Depot, is planned to provide additional stabling capacity to the line in 2024.[66] Testing on the integration of systems of Stage 3 and the rest of the line started from 14 May 2017 till 27 August 2017.[67]

Train control[edit]

The Downtown line is equipped with Siemens (previously Invensys before Siemens acquisition) Trainguard Sirius Communications-based train control (CBTC) moving block signalling system with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 4 (UTO).[68] The subsystems consist of Automatic train protection (ATP) to govern train speed, Controlguide Rail 9000 Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) to track and schedule trains and Trackguard Westrace MK2 Computer-based interlocking (CBI) system that prevents incorrect signal and track points to be set.[69][70]

A fall-back signalling system, relying on conventional track-circuit occupancy detection, is included to ensure fully automatic operation and train protection independent of the radio system.

Platform screen doors (PSDs) along the line were installed by Westinghouse Signal (Invensys Rail Group), supplied by Faiveley.[71] The PSDs provide safety for passengers, offering protection from arriving and departing trains.[72][73]

References[edit]

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