Light Rail Transit (Singapore)
|Owner||Land Transport Authority|
|Transit type||Automated guideway transit/People mover (APM)|
|Number of lines||3|
|Number of stations||41 (excluding Teck Lee)|
|Daily ridership||180,000 (2016)|
|Began operation||6 November 1999|
|Operator(s)||SBS Transit (ComfortDelGro)|
SMRT Light Rail (SMRT Corporation)
|System length||28.6 km (17.77 mi)|
The Light Rail Transit (LRT), also known as the Light Rapid Transit, is a series of localised automated guideway transit systems acting as feeder services to the heavy rail Mass Rapid Transit, which together with the LRT forms the core of Singapore's rail transport services. The first LRT line was opened in 1999 and the system has since expanded to three lines, each serving a public housing estate, namely Bukit Panjang LRT Line, Sengkang LRT Line and Punggol LRT Line. Trains on these lines have at least one station linking it to the MRT and in turn the remainder of the LRT network.
All LRT lines use fully automated and driverless rubber-tired rolling stock closer in size and scope to a people mover system such as those found in many airports around the world. They are elevated and grade-separated in their entireties, and run on viaducts in order to save scarce land space in Singapore. In these respects, the LRT departs from the traditional sense of a light rail system (which are rarely grade-separated and in many cases include street running sections).
- 1 History
- 2 Improvements
- 3 Infrastructure
- 4 Fares and ticketing
- 5 Safety
- 6 See also
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The concept of having rail lines which could bring people from door to door without requiring the use of road-based buses was much favoured by the government transport planners, especially with the increased emphasis on a rail-based public transport network. For intra town travel, LRTs were favoured over buses because trains run on dedicated elevated guideways, bypassing any traffic congestion and traffic lights on the roads, and do not add to road traffic. Train arrival and departure times are also almost guaranteed this way. It is also cleaner as the trains are electrically powered, and therefore lessens the effects of air pollution.
Opening of lines
The Bukit Panjang LRT Line opened on 6 November 1999, with all 14 stations opening at the same time. Ten Mile Junction LRT Station was closed from 10 December 2010 till 30 December 2011 for retrofitting works due to the closure and redevelopment of Ten Mile Junction shopping mall (now known as Junction 10), making it the first MRT/LRT station to be completely closed in Singapore after opening. It is the first and only LRT line to be operated by SMRT Light Rail.
The Sengkang LRT Line opened in two main stages, the East Loop opening first on 18 January 2003 and most of the West Loop on 29 January 2005. Farmway LRT Station on the West Loop subsequently opened on 15 November 2007. On 1 January 2013, Cheng Lim LRT Station opened for passenger service and the west loop now operated in a bidirectional way. Kupang LRT Station opened for passenger service on 27 June 2015, marking the completion of the opening of all stations on the Sengkang LRT Line.
For the Punggol LRT Line, the East Loop started operating on the same day as the Sengkang LRT's West Loop, with two stations closed. Oasis LRT Station was opened for service on 15 June 2007, after more residents moved into HDB flats in the station's vicinity. Damai LRT Station opened on 20 June 2011. The West Loop opened on 29 June 2014 at 11.15 am, with Nibong LRT Station, Sumang LRT Station and Soo Teck LRT Station being the first stations to open. Sam Kee LRT Station, Punggol Point LRT Station and Samudera LRT Station opened on 29 February 2016, 29 December 2016 and 31 March 2017 respectively.
Cancelled and Proposed Developments
During the unveiling of the Urban Redevelopment Authority's early Concept Plans, there have been a number of previously proposed LRT Systems. The government had also looked into the feasibility of using it to connect neighboring towns with one another such as one that would link and connect the towns of Bedok and Tampines. Others serving Yishun, Orchard Road, Bras Basah, Marina South, Lim Chu Kang and Buona Vista were also proposed. All of which have been rejected for their impracticalities.
The Jurong LRT line was first proposed in 2001 which would have served and linked the planning areas of Jurong, Boon Lay, Choa Chu Kang, and the future town of Tengah. However, the LTA announced in 2008 that there were no plans to develop the LRT line. Nonetheless, ever since the Land Transport Master Plan 2013, it has been upgraded into an MRT line and is set to be ready by 2025.
Sengkang-Punggol LRT Improvements
On 31 October 2012, LTA announced that by 2016, Sengkang and Punggol LRT systems will be upgraded to a two-car system for 16 of the 41 existing train cars, allowing double the number of passengers to board at any one time. Each train car can take up to 105 passengers. Hence, there is also the need to modify the signalling and communication system.
On 22 December 2015, the two car trains entered service on the Sengkang LRT line, boosting capacity to 204 per trip as compared to 105 in a single car configuration.
As of 2017, two car trains have entered service on the Punggol LRT line.
On 15 December 2017, the Land Transport Authority said there will be limited services on parts of the Sengkang-Punggol LRT (SPLRT) on most Sundays from 14 January 2018 to 25 February 2018, to facilitate renewal and improvement works from (except 18 February as it is a Chinese New Year holiday). Only one platform will open for service at 5.30am on Sundays. The other platform will open from 7am. The arrangement is expected to continue until 29 April 2018.
On 14 February 2018, the LTA announced that it has taken over SBS Transit's rail assets (the North East MRT line and Sengkang-Punggol LRT lines) worth $30.8 million and transit to the New Rail Financing Framework on 1 April 2018. The LTA has also said that this will benefit commuters as there will be "more coordinated and timely expansion, and renewal of the rail system".
Bukit Panjang LRT Improvements
For the Bukit Panjang LRT Line, SMRT and LTA announced for plans to completely overhaul the BPLRT system as the system is reaching its lifespan of 20 years. Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has also announced plans to shut the Bukit Panjang LRT down for a small number of years to pave the way for the system's overhaul. On 23 October 2017, SMRT announced that the Bukit Panjang Light Rail Transit (BPLRT) system will begin operations at 7am, instead of 5.30am, on all Sundays from 12 November 2017 until the end of the year, to allow more time for works to improve service reliability.
On 23 March 2018, SMRT said that the Bukit Panjang LRT Line will be closed on 11 Sundays from 15 April 2018 to 24 June 2018 as part of maintenance works aimed to improving the reliability of the beleaguered system.
|Line and livery||Opening year||Terminal||Stations||Length (km)||Depot||Electrification|
|SMRT Light Rail|
|Bukit Panjang LRT||1999||Choa Chu Kang||13||7.6||Ten Mile Junction Depot||AC 600 V|
|Sengkang LRT||2003||Sengkang (East Loop)||5||10.7||Sengkang Depot||DC 750 V|
|2005||Sengkang (West Loop)||8|
|Punggol LRT||2005||Punggol (East Loop)||7||10.3|
|2014||Punggol (West Loop)||6a|
a – excluding Teck Lee which is not operational.
Since the LRT system was built in the 1990s, plans for barrier-free facilities have already been included during the planning stages. All 43 stations are equipped with such facilities, thus there will be no difficulties present for the old and handicapped. Barrier-free facilities include lifts, ramps, tactile guidance system and toilets with handicapped-friendly facilities; all stations include wide faregates. These barrier-free facilities will be included in all future LRT stations.
Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT)
The Bukit Panjang LRT Line (BPLRT) is the first light rail line in Singapore. Spanning 7.6 km and consisting of 13 stations, the entire line opened in 1999, and is the first and only LRT line to be operated by SMRT Trains.
Sengkang LRT (SKLRT)
The Sengkang LRT (SKLRT) is a 10.7 km light rail line which partially opened on 18 January 2003. It is part of the LRT system together with the other two lines. The East Loop has 5 stations, all operational, from Compassvale to Ranggung whereas the West Loop has 8 stations from Cheng Lim to Renjong. On 27 June 2015, Kupang opened, making it the last station on the Sengkang LRT to be opened. The completion of several new residential developments in the area deemed it suitable to operate after 12 years.
For a comparison, Cheng Lim opened for passenger service on 1 January 2013 while Farmway opened for passenger service on 15 November 2007 while the rest of the West Loop stations opened for passenger service on 29 January 2005.
Punggol LRT (PGLRT)
The Punggol LRT (PGLRT) is a light rail line in Singapore within the LRT system together with the other two lines. Its first phase, which comprises a 10.3 km light rail line with 15 stations, began operating on 29 January 2005 (with the exception of Oasis, which was opened on 15 June 2007 and Damai, which was opened on 20 June 2011) whereas Nibong, Sumang and Soo Teck were opened on 29 June 2014, the rest of the stations are not opened as Punggol was halfway developed. Subsequently, Sam Kee opened on 29 February 2016, Punggol Point opened on 29 December 2016 while Samudera opened on 31 March 2017 as the area around the stations became more developed. Teck Lee will be opening in tandem with the developments around the area.
|Service Start||Speed Limit|
|Bukit Panjang LRT||Bombardier Innovia C801||19||1999||48 km/h|
|Bombardier Innovia C801A||13||2014|
|Sengkang-Punggol LRT||Mitsubishi Crystal Mover C810||41||2003||70 km/h|
|Mitsubishi Crystal Mover C810A||16||2016|
The trains on the LRT system are fitted with rubber tyres, rather than steel wheels, on specially-constructed guideways from which its power is also sourced. All cars are fully automated and driverless, and are controlled from their respective depots.
Little is known regarding the fate of the older Bombardier C-100s that was built in 1990 for the Changi Airport Skytrain.
All Light Rail Lines are able to run automatically, are fully driverless and automated. The following list documents the systems:
|Line||Supplier||Solution||Type [note 1]||Commissioning||Length (km)||Level of Automation[note 2]||Control Centre||Remarks|
|Bukit Panjang LRT||Bombardier||CITYFLO 550||Fixed Block||1999||7.8||UTO||Ten Mile Junction Depot|
|Sengkang LRT||Kyosan||APM Signalling||2003/2005||10.7||Sengkang Depot|
The LRT system consists of two depots, which run the maintenance, inspection, train overhaul facilities and house the cars overnight. The Ten Mile Junction Depot houses cars for Bukit Panjang LRT, and the Sengkang Depot houses cars for the Sengkang LRT and Punggol LRT, together with the North East Line of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT).
Fares and ticketing
Instead of using turnstile faregates, all stations on the Bukit Panjang LRT Line now use retractable faregates instead which is faster and easier and the replacement was completed in 2017.
By 2018, glass and steel platform barriers will be installed at all 43 LRT stations to prevent people from falling onto the tracks. Unlike the ones in overground MRT stations, the LRT structures will not have sliding doors but fixed openings. The barriers have been erected at Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang LRT stations in anticipation of higher commuter traffic with the opening of Downtown Line 2. This will be followed by the rest of the stations on the Bukit Panjang and Sengkang-Punggol LRT lines by 2018.
The installation of these barriers was completed at all LRT stations in 2017.
- List of Singapore LRT stations
- Mass Rapid Transit
- Transport in Singapore
- Rail transport in Singapore
- Fixed Block = Fixed Block signalling. Moving Block TBTC = Moving Block using Induction Loops. Moving Block CBTC = Moving Block Using Radio.
- UTO = Unattended Train Operation. DTO = Driverless Train Operation. STO = Semi-automated Operation Mode
- "Bus, rail ridership soars to new high". Retrieved 22 April 2017.
- "First Light Rail Transit system". National Library Board. 29 October 2016.
- "Cheng Lim LRT Station To Open And Sengkang West LRT to Run in Both Directions". SBS Transit. 21 December 2012.
- "Kupang LRT Station to open on Saturday, 27 June 2015" (PDF). SBS Transit. 15 June 2015.
- "Opening Of Oasis LRT Station". SBS Transit. June 2007. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
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- "Punggol West LRT System to Commence Passenger Service and North East Line to Add More Train Trips". SBS Transit. 18 June 2014. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
- "Commencement of Two-Car Operations on Punggol LRT East Loop & Opening of Punggol Point LRT Station on 29 December 2016". SBS Transit. 29 December 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
- "Sam Kee Station on Punggol LRT System to open for Passenger Services". SBS Transit. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 4 January 2017.
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- "No Plans To Develop Jurong LRT For Now". Land Transport Authority. 26 May 2008.
- "TWO NEW RAIL LINES AND THREE NEW EXTENSIONS TO EXPAND RAIL NETWORK BY 2030". Land Transport Authority. 17 January 2013. Archived from the original on 6 July 2014.
- "2-car System for Sengkang Punggol LRT by 2016; Improvements to Choa Chu Kang LRT Station". Land Transport Authority. 31 October 2012. Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "2-car trains roll out on Sengkang LRT". Straits Times. 24 December 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- "Limited Sengkang-Punggol LRT services on Sunday mornings from Jan to Feb". 2017-12-15.
- "Limited Sengkang-Punggol LRT services on Sunday mornings from Jan 14". 2017-12-15.
- "Limited service along Sengkang-Punggol LRT on Sundays in Jan, Feb to facilitate rail works". channelnewsasia.com. 15 December 2017.
- "Maintenance work to resume on Sengkang and Punggol LRT systems on Mar 4". channelnewsasia.com.
- hermesauto (22 February 2018). "Maintenance works to resume on Sengkang and Punggol LRT systems". straitstimes.com.
- "North-East Line, Sengkang and Punggol LRTs to move to new financing framework". channelnewsasia. 14 February 2018.
- Abdullah, Zhaki (15 February 2018). "LTA to take over SBS Transit rail assets worth $30.8m". straitstimes.
- hermesauto (11 May 2018). "SBS Transit extends limited service on Sundays for Sengkang, Punggol LRT to October". straitstimes.com.
- "Limited service hours on Sundays for Sengkang-Punggol LRT to be extended". todayonline.com.
- "SMRT reveals options to overhaul ageing Bukit Panjang LRT System". Retrieved 2017-10-24.
- "Govt may shut down Bukit Panjang LRT for at least 3 years: Khaw Boon Wan". The Independent. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
- Cheng, Kenneth (23 October 2017). "BPLRT to start running later on Sundays from Nov 12 for renewal works". TODAY Online.
- hermesauto (23 March 2018). "Bukit Panjang LRT to close for 11 Sundays for maintenance works starting April 15". Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- "Reliability on Bukit Panjang LRT to 'improve significantly', but works won't solve bumpiness issues". Retrieved 8 April 2018.
- "FACILITIES PROVIDED FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN MRT/LRT STATIONS" (PDF). Building and Construction Authority (BCA). Retrieved 1 November 2012.
- "About SMRT: Business and Subsidiaries". Retrieved 4 November 2017.
- "Kupang LRT Station to Open and More than 260 Weekly Trips to be Added to the Sengkang/Punggol LRT". 2015-06-15.
- "Platform barriers at all LRT stations by 2018 to prevent falls". Straits Times. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "Safety barriers installed on Bukit Panjang LRT; to be completed on Sengkang-Punggol LRT next year". 3 October 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
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