Light Rail Transit (Singapore)
|Owner||Land Transport Authority|
|Transit type||Automated people mover (APM)|
|Number of lines||3|
|Number of stations||43 (4 not in operation)|
|Daily ridership||137,000 (2014)|
|Began operation||6 November 1999|
|Operator(s)||SBS Transit (ComfortDelGro)
SMRT Light Rail (SMRT Corporation)
|System length||28.8 km (17.90 mi)|
The Light Rail Transit (LRT), also known as the Light Rapid Transit, is the light rail component of Singapore's rail network, consisting of localised rail systems acting as feeder services to the Mass Rapid Transit network. 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 link to the MRT network at Choa Chu Kang, Sengkang and Punggol stations respectively while the Bukit Panjang LRT links to a second MRT station, Bukit Panjang.
The system is closer to an automated people mover (APM) system such as those found in many airports around the world than a traditional light rail system. All the lines are fully automated and elevated, and run on viaducts in order to save scarce land space in Singapore.
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 opened on 6 November 1999, with all 14 stations opened at the same time.
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 opened on 15 November 2007, but Cheng Lim and Kupang stations remain closed due to less development within the area. On 1 January 2013, Cheng Lim opened for passenger service.
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. Damai was opened on June 20, 2011. The West Loop remains closed and will only be opened for passenger service when the station surroundings are further developed.
On 1 January 2013, Sengkang West LRT operated in both directions throughout the day, instead of only during the morning and evening peak hours which is the case currently.
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.
|Line and livery||Opening year||Termini||Stations||Length (km)||Depot|
|SMRT Light Rail|
|Bukit Panjang LRT||1999||Choa Chu Kang||Ten Mile Junction||14||7.8||Ten Mile Junction Depot|
|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)||4a|
|b – excluding duplication of Sengkang and Punggol LRT station|
Since the LRT was built in the 1990s, plans for barrier-free facilities were included during the planning stages. All 43 stations are equipped with these facilities, thus there will be no difficulty for the 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 (BPLRT) is a 7.8 km light rail line opened in 1999 and part of Singapore's light rail system.
Sengkang LRT (SKLRT)
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.
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 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.
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.
|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.
Fares and ticketing
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.
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 will be 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.
- "Singapore Land Transport: Statistics In Brief 2015" (PDF). Retrieved 24 November 2015.
- "Cheng Lim LRT Station To Open And Sengkang West LRT to Run in Both Directions". SBS Transit. December 21, 2012.
- "Opening Of Oasis LRT Station". SBS Transit. June 2007. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "SBS Transit Opens Woodleigh and Damai Stations". SBS Transit. 8 March 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2013.
- "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.
- "Kupang LRT Station to open on Saturday, 27 June 2015" (PDF). SBS Transit. 15 June 2015.
- "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.
- "2-car trains roll out on Sengkang LRT". Straits Times. 24 December 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
- "FACILITIES PROVIDED FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN MRT/LRT STATIONS" (PDF). Building and Construction Authority (BCA). Retrieved November 1, 2012.
- "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.
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