North South MRT line
North South line
|Native name||Laluan MRT Utara Selatan|
வடக்கு தெற்கு எம்ஆர்டி வழி
|System||Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)|
Under construction (Canberra)
Marina South Pier
|Stations||26 (Operational) (excluding reserved station NS6) |
1 (Under construction)
|Opened||7 November 1987|
|Owner||Land Transport Authority|
|Operator(s)||SMRT Trains (SMRT Corporation)|
|Character||Elevated (Jurong East – Ang Mo Kio)|
Underground (Braddell - Marina South Pier)
|Rolling stock||C151 |
|Line length||45 km (28 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||750 V DC Third rail|
|Operating speed||limit of 80 km/h (50 mph)|
The North South line (NSL) is a high-capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line in Singapore, operated by SMRT. It runs from Jurong East, located in western Singapore, to Marina South Pier in the Central Area. The line is 45 kilometres (28 mi) long and serves 26 stations, 11 of which are underground. It was the first MRT line to be built in Singapore and it began service on 7 November 1987. The line is coloured red on the rail map.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History
- 3 Improvement works
- 4 Incidents
- 5 Stations
- 6 Rolling stock
- 7 Train control
- 8 References
- 9 External links
As the name implies, the line connects central Singapore to northern and southern parts of the island. It runs mostly on overhead viaducts but goes underground within the Central Area, between Bishan and Marina South Pier. Travelling from one end of the line to the other takes about an hour.
First phase of development
The North South line was the first MRT line in Singapore, with the first section from Yio Chu Kang to Toa Payoh opening on 7 November 1987. Nine more stations from Novena to Outram Park followed on 12 December 1987. The line was extended northward to Yishun on 20 December 1988 and it began independent operations on 4 November 1989, when the extension to Marina Bay was opened.
Second phase of development (Woodlands extension)
After the branch line opened in 1990, the Woodlands MRT line was envisioned to close the gap between Yishun and Choa Chu Kang. During the initial planning of the line, Sembawang station was only intended as a provisional station, to be built at a later date due to the underdevelopment of Sembawang. Kranji station was not planned. But on the second round of planning, the government decided to build these stations and omit Sungei Kadut station from the plan. Sungei Kadut station will be built later if the town's population justifies the necessity for the station. With the official opening of the Woodlands Extension on 10 February 1996, the branch line became part of the North South line.
Jurong East modification project
The Jurong East modification project entailed the construction of a new platform and the addition of a fourth track to Jurong East station to reduce waiting times and crowding at the station during peak hours. The modification project was completed on 27 May 2011. The track and platform was initially opened during morning peak hours only, but since December 2011, they also operate during the evening peak hours.
North South line extension
A 1-kilometre (0.6 mi), one station extension from Marina Bay to Marina South Pier station was opened on 23 November 2014. This extension serves the Marina South Pier, the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore and future developments in Marina Bay Downtown area.
On 17 January 2013, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that a feasibility studies was being conducted to create a station between Sembawang and Yishun stations. The feasibility studies was completed in 2014 and Canberra station will be built. Shortly later on 1 August 2014, LTA announced that construction will commence in mid-2015 and is expected to be completed in 2019. Construction works for Canberra station commenced on 26 March 2016. This station, which is an Infill station and will have side platforms, will be built along an operational section of the line between Sembawang and Yishun stations. The construction costs S$90 million and is expected to be completed by 2019 to serve upcoming developments near the station. On the 18 to 19 May, train services will be suspended between Woodlands and Yishun for upgrading works and on 20 May, train services will be suspended towards Ang Mo Kio. The station will be opened on 2 November 2019.
Installation of half-height platform screen doors
The government announced plans to install half-height platform screen doors on the elevated stations in January 2008. The first platform screen doors were installed at Jurong East and Yishun stations in 2009 as trial runs. Subsequently, installation began in May 2011 at Ang Mo Kio MRT station. On 14 March 2012, platform screen doors became operational on all surface stations on the North South line.
Timeline of stations opened
- 7 November 1987: Yio Chu Kang – Toa Payoh
- 12 December 1987: Toa Payoh – Raffles Place
- 20 December 1988: Yio Chu Kang – Yishun
- 4 November 1989: Raffles Place – Marina Bay
- 10 March 1990: Jurong East – Choa Chu Kang
- 10 February 1996: Yishun – Choa Chu Kang
- 23 November 2014: Marina Bay – Marina South Pier
- 2 November 2019: Canberra
Timber to concrete sleeper replacement works
Timber sleepers were replaced when they neared the end of their lifespan of 15 to 25 years. The new replacement sleepers, made out of concrete, have a significantly longer lifespan. Train services on the line were ended earlier to allow more time for the sleeper replacement works. All timber sleepers were replaced by April 2015. After the completion of the replacement works, train services resumed their normal operating hours.
A new moving-block signalling system, supplied by Thales, replaced the ageing fixed-block signalling system on the North South line. The upgrading works were completed in phases from 2016. With the upgraded signalling system, trains are now able to run closer to each other. MRT trains were also progressively retrofitted with new equipment on board to be compatible with the new signalling system.
The new system was tested on the evening of 28 March 2017, when train services were paused to facilitate the testing. From 16 April 2017, the new system commenced full-day testing on Sundays for two months. The new C151B rolling stock were first introduced to the line on these testing days. Since 28 May 2017, the new signalling system has been operating full-day on the North South line.
Replacement works on the third rail, which provides electricity to the trains, were completed in August 2017. The new third rail replaced its 30-year-old predecessor, which was used since the opening of the line. The new electrical system is expected to make train services more reliable.
On 3 March 2003, a 23-year-old driver driving his brother's Mercedes E200 lost control of the car along Lentor Avenue, crashing through the fence and landing onto a stretch of track between Yio Chu Kang and Khatib stations. The incident forced a train carrying hundreds of commuters to come to a screeching halt, but not before flattening the front of the car. The accident disrupted train services for more than three hours and cost SMRT between $100,000 and $150,000 in damage and lost revenue.
These two service disruptions on the North South line were both related to damaged rail, and became one of the worst disruption since SMRT's inception in 1987.
On 15 December 2011, services between Bishan and Marina Bay stations were suspended due to damage sustained on 40-metre power rail between City Hall and Dhoby Ghaut MRT stations. Trains along the stretch were stalled and caused a service disruption until 11.40pm on that day.
Two days later, a similar fault caused a seven-hour disruption between Ang Mo Kio and Marina Bay stations. According to SMRT, the disruption was caused by damage to the third rail and the trains' collector shoes. Seven trains were damaged in this incident.
On 7 July 2015, the North South line along with the East West line were temporarily disrupted due to massive power trips detected along the line. A cause of the disruption was due to damaged insulators which caused a failure to properly supply power.
New signalling system
During the first few months of testing of the new signalling system, there had been numerous occasions of major service disruptions, lasting up to three hours. In wake of the re-signalling system tests, SMRT has advised commuters to plan for longer traveling time on the line.
Bishan tunnel flooding
On 7 October 2017, a 20-hour long disruption of services started with a flooding in the tunnels between Braddell and Bishan due to faulty drainage system (causing rainwater to flood the tunnels rapidly, and that the disruption started during a torrential downpour), resulting in disruption of train services between Ang Mo Kio and Marina South Pier stations were suspended in both directions for several hours. A trackside fire between Raffles Place and Marina Bay stations further exacerbated the disruption; Train services between Marina South Pier and Newton resumed at about 9.20pm on the same day, followed by Newton and Ang Mo Kio at around 2pm the following day. Although no injuries or causalities were reported, SMRT fired a total of eight employees from the maintenance crew, and incurred a S$2 million fine, following the incident.
North South MRT Line
|Station Number||Station Name||Image||Interchange/Notes|
|Jurong East||Cross-Platform Interchange with the East West line|
Interchange with the Jurong Region line (2027)
|Choa Chu Kang||Interchange with the Bukit Panjang LRT and the Jurong Region line (2026)|
|reserved station; under planning|
|Woodlands||Interchange with the Thomson-East Coast line (2019)|
|Canberra||Station added on operational line (under construction, to be opened 2 November 2019)|
|Yio Chu Kang|
|Ang Mo Kio||Interchange with the Cross Island line (2029)|
|Bishan||Interchange with the Circle line|
|Newton||Interchange with the Downtown line|
|Orchard||Interchange with the Thomson-East Coast line (2021)|
|Dhoby Ghaut||Interchange with the North East line and the Circle line|
|City Hall||Cross-Platform Interchange with the East West line|
|Raffles Place||Cross-Platform Interchange with the East West line|
|Marina Bay||Interchange with the Circle line extension and the Thomson-East Coast line (2021)|
|Marina South Pier|
The North South line consists of the following rolling stocks: C151, C651, C751B, C151A, C151B, C151C. They are housed in Bishan Depot, which provides train maintenance, inspection and overhaul facilities, and in Ulu Pandan Depot.
The North South line is currently equipped with Thales SelTrac Communications-based train control (CBTC) moving block signalling system with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 3 (DTO). The subsystems consist of Automatic train protection (ATP) to govern train speed, NetTrac MT Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) to track and schedule trains and a Computer-based interlocking (CBI) system that prevents incorrect signal and track points to be set.
The old signalling system ceased operations on 2 January 2019. It consists of Westinghouse fixed block signalling system with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 2 (STO). The subsystems consist of Automatic train protection (ATP) to govern train speed, Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) to track and schedule trains and a Relay interlocking system that prevents incorrect signal and track points to be set.
All underground stations are installed with full-height platform screen doors supplied by Westinghouse since their opening. Half-height platform screen gates by ST Electronics were installed on all elevated stations by March 2012.
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