Light Rail Transit (Singapore)

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Light Rail Transit (LRT)
Sistem Rel Ringan
轻轨列车系统
இலகு கடவு ரயில்
Overview
Owner Land Transport Authority
Locale Singapore
Transit type Automated guideway transit/People mover (APM)
Number of lines 3
Number of stations 43 (3 not in operation)
Daily ridership 152,000 (2015)[1]
Operation
Began operation 6 November 1999
Operator(s) SBS Transit (ComfortDelGro)
SMRT Light Rail (SMRT Corporation)
Technical
System length 28.8 km (17.90 mi)
A diagram of the physical spread of the MRT network across the island, including lines under construction.

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, Sengkang and Punggol. 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 an 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).

Along with the MRT, the LRT is constructed by the Land Transport Authority, with operating concessions currently handed to SMRT Light Rail and SBS Transit.

History[edit]

Conception[edit]

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[edit]

The Bukit Panjang LRT opened on 6 November 1999, with all 14 stations opened at the same time. Ten Mile Junction 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), marking the first time an LRT or MRT Station completely closed in Singapore after opening.

The Sengkang LRT 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 on the West Loop subsequently opened on 15 November 2007. On 1 January 2013, Cheng Lim opened for passenger service and the west loop now operated in a bidirectional way.[2] Kupang opened for passenger service on 27 June 2015, marking the completion of the opening of all stations along the Sengkang LRT Line.[3]

For the Punggol LRT, the East Loop started operating on the same day as the Sengkang LRT's West Loop, with two stations closed. Oasis was opened for service on 15 June 2007, after more residents moved into Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats in the station's vicinity.[4] Damai was opened on June 20, 2011.[5] The West Loop opened on 29 June 2014 at 11.15 am, with Nibong, Sumang and Soo Teck being the first stations to open.[6] Sam Kee opened for passenger service on 29 February 2016.[7]

Improvements[edit]

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.[8]

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.[9]

Infrastructure[edit]

Network[edit]

Line and livery Opening year Terminal Stations Length (km) Depot
SMRT Light Rail
Bukit Panjang LRT 1999 Choa Chu Kang Ten Mile Junction 14 7.8 Ten Mile Junction Depot
SBS Transit
Sengkang LRT 2003 Sengkang (East Loop) 6 10.7 Sengkang Depot
2005 Sengkang (West Loop) 9
Punggol LRT 2005 Punggol (East Loop) 8 10.3
2014 Punggol (West Loop) 5a

a – excluding Teck Lee, Punggol Point and Samudera, which are not operational.

Total: 40b 28.8
b – excluding duplication of Sengkang and Punggol LRT station

Facilities[edit]

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.[10]

Exterior view of Senja LRT station, one of the stations on the Bukit Panjang LRT Line.
Platform view of Thanggam LRT station, along the West Loop of the Sengkang LRT Line.

Lines[edit]

Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT)[edit]

The Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT) is a 7.8 km light rail line opened in 1999 and part of Singapore's light rail system.

Sengkang LRT (SKLRT)[edit]

The Sengkang LRT (SKLRT) is a 10.7 km light rail line which partly opened on 18 January 2003. It forms part of the LRT system together with the other two lines. The East Loop forms 5 stations, all operational, from Compassvale to Ranggung whereas the West Loop forms 8 stations from Cheng Lim to Renjong. Kupang is the last station on the Sengkang LRT to be operational at 27 June 2015. The completion of several new residential developments in the area deemed it suitable to operate after 12 years.[11]

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)[edit]

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 the Nibong, Sumang and Soo Teck were opened on 29 June 2014, the rest of the stations are not opened as Punggol was halfway developed.

Depots[edit]

LRT trains are parked at the top level of 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)

Rolling stock[edit]

Line Name No.
of Trains
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
A new Bombardier INNOVIA APM 100 running on the guiderails, in SMRT new livery.
A Crystal Mover on the Punggol LRT system at Punggol LRT station in Singapore.

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.

Rolling stock that is on the Light Rail Transit are also used on the Changi Airport Skytrain, where the only change is in 2006 from the Bombardier C-100 to Mitsubishi Crystal Mover.

Little is known regarding the fate of the older Bombardier C-100s that was built in 1990 for the Changi Airport Skytrain.

Fares and ticketing[edit]

The Light Rail Transit uses the same ticketing system as the Mass Rapid Transit. It uses the contactless EZ-Link smart card and a standard single trip ticket.

Panoramic view showing the Sengkang LRT Line (SKLRT). Renjong LRT station lies to the left, and the Sengkang Depot for North East Line and SKLRT to the right. In the distant background lie Buangkok and Hougang.

In the future, Bukit Panjang LRT Line will uses Retractable Faregates instead of using Turnstile Faregates which is faster and easier and will be completed by 2016.

Safety[edit]

By 2018, glass and steel platform barriers will be installed at all 42 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 systems, with the work completed in 2017 and 2018 respectively.[12]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bus and train ridership hits new high". Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  2. ^ "Cheng Lim LRT Station To Open And Sengkang West LRT to Run in Both Directions". SBS Transit. December 21, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Kupang LRT Station to open on Saturday, 27 June 2015" (PDF). SBS Transit. 15 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Opening Of Oasis LRT Station". SBS Transit. June 2007. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "SBS Transit Opens Woodleigh and Damai Stations". SBS Transit. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  6. ^ "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. 
  7. ^ "Sam Kee Station on Punggol LRT System to open for Passenger Services". SBS Transit. 18 February 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2016. 
  8. ^ "2-car System for Sengkang Punggol LRT by 2016; Improvements to Choa Chu Kang LRT Station". Land Transport Authority. 31 October 2012. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  9. ^ "2-car trains roll out on Sengkang LRT". Straits Times. 24 December 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  10. ^ "FACILITIES PROVIDED FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN MRT/LRT STATIONS" (PDF). Building and Construction Authority (BCA). Retrieved November 1, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Kupang LRT Station to Open and More than 260 Weekly Trips to be Added to the Sengkang/Punggol LRT". 2015-06-15. 
  12. ^ "Platform barriers at all LRT stations by 2018 to prevent falls". Straits Times. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 

External links[edit]