North South MRT line

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MRT Singapore Destination 4.png MRT Singapore Destination 5.png
North South line
NS9 Woodlands MRT Platform.jpg
Two C151B trains at Woodlands, which is one of the most crowded stations of the line.
Native nameLaluan MRT Utara Selatan
வடக்கு தெற்கு எம்ஆர்டி வழி
TypeRapid transit
SystemMass Rapid Transit (Singapore)
TerminiJurong East
Marina South Pier
Stations27 (Operational)
2 (Under planning)
Opened7 November 1987; 32 years ago (1987-11-07)
OwnerLand Transport Authority
Operator(s)SMRT Trains (SMRT Corporation)
CharacterElevated (Jurong EastAng Mo Kio)
Subsurface (Bishan)
Underground (BraddellMarina South Pier)
Ulu Pandan
Rolling stockC151
CR151 (Future)
Line length45 km (28 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification750 V DC Third rail
Operating speedlimit of 80 km/h (50 mph)
Route map
MRT Route Map NS.svg

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 27 stations,[1][2] 11 of which are underground. It was the first MRT line to be built in Singapore and it began service on 7 November 1987.[3] The line is coloured red on the rail map.


The North South line is coloured red in the MRT system map.

As the name implies, the North South line connects central and southern Singapore to the north of the island but also connects the north with the west. The majority of the line runs on overhead viaducts but goes underground within the Central Area, between Bishan and Marina South Pier and in two more short tunnels between Kranji and Marsiling and Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak. Travelling from one end of the line to the other takes about an hour.[citation needed]


First phase of development[edit]

Toa Payoh station, the oldest station on the MRT line and the Singapore MRT system

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 that year.[4] 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.[citation needed]

Second phase of development (Woodlands extension)[edit]

Woodlands MRT station

After the Branch line opened in 1990, the Woodlands MRT line was envisioned to close the gap between Yishun and Choa Chu Kang.[5] Construction began on 14 July 1992. 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, and construction began on 19 November 1992. Kranji station was not planned. But on the second round of planning (construction began at the same time on 19 November 1992), 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.[5]

Jurong East modification project[edit]

Jurong East MRT station before the 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.[6] The modification project was completed on 27 May 2011.[7] The track and platform was initially opened during morning peak hours only, but since December 2011, they also operate during the evening peak hours.[8]

North South line extension[edit]

A 1-kilometre (0.6 mi), one station extension from Marina Bay to Marina South Pier station was opened on 23 November 2014. Initially, only 1 of every 4 southbound trains terminated at Marina South Pier; with the others continuing to terminate at the former terminus, Marina Bay, likely due to the low demand of Marina South Pier, but this restriction was lifted in May 2017 due to the implementation of the new CBTC signalling system. The last time this restriction was implemented was on 10 May 2017, which was a Vesak Day Holiday.[9] This extension serves the Marina South Pier, the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore, and future developments in Marina Bay Downtown area.[9]

Canberra station[edit]

On 17 January 2013, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that a feasibility study was conducted to construct a station between Sembawang and Yishun.[10][11] The feasibility study was completed in 2014 and LTA announced Canberra as a new station.[12] Construction works for Canberra station commenced on 26 March 2016.[13] The station, which is an infill station with side platforms, was built along an operational section of the line between Sembawang and Yishun. The station cost S$90 million to build,[14] and is meant to serve upcoming developments at the vicinity. Canberra station opened on 2 November 2019.[15]

Installation of half-height platform screen doors[edit]

The government announced plans to install half-height platform screen doors on the elevated stations on 25 January 2008.[16] The first platform screen doors were installed at Jurong East and Yishun stations in 2009 as trial runs.[17] Subsequently, installation began in May 2011 at Ang Mo Kio. On 14 March 2012, platform screen doors became operational on all surface stations on the North South line.[18]

Timeline of stations opened[edit]

Improvement works[edit]

Timber to concrete sleeper replacement works[edit]

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.[19] 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.[20]

Resignalling works[edit]

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.[21] 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.[22] Since 28 May 2017, the new signalling system has been operating full-day on the North South line.[23]

Third-rail replacement[edit]

Replacement works on the third rail, which provides electricity to the trains, were completed in August 2017.[24] 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.[25]


Fence crash[edit]

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.

Damaged rail[edit]

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.[26]

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. Trains along the stretch were stalled and caused a service disruption until 11.40pm on that day.[27][28]

Two days later, a similar fault caused a seven-hour disruption between Ang Mo Kio and Marina Bay.[29][30] 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.[31]

Power trip[edit]

On 7 July 2015, the North South and East West lines 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.[32]

New signalling system[edit]

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.[33][34] In wake of the re-signalling system tests, SMRT has advised commuters to plan for longer traveling time on the line.[35]

Bishan tunnel flooding[edit]

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 in both directions for several hours. A trackside fire between Raffles Place and Marina Bay 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.[36] Although no injuries or casualties were reported, SMRT fired a total of eight employees from the maintenance crew, and incurred a S$2 million fine, following the incident[37].


North South MRT Line
Left arrow Pandan Reservoir
 NS1  EW24  JE5 
Jurong East
Left arrow Pasir Ris
  Tuas Link Right arrow
  Choa Chu Kang Right arrow
Bukit Batok
Bukit Gombak
  Boon Lay Right arrow
Left arrow Choa Chu Kang (loop)
 NS4  JS1  BP1 
Choa Chu Kang
Yew Tee
 NS6  DT 
Sungei Kadut
Woodlands Flyover
Bukit Timah Expressway
 NS9  TE2 
Left arrow Woodlands South
  Woodlands North Right arrow
Lentor Flyover
Seletar Expressway
Yio Chu Kang
 NS16  CR11 
Ang Mo Kio
Left arrow Bright Hill
  Aviation Park Right arrow
Kallang River
Left arrow HarbourFront
  Dhoby Ghaut Right arrow
 NS17  CC15 
Toa Payoh
Left arrow Bukit Panjang
  Expo Right arrow
 NS21  DT11 
Left arrow Woodlands North
 NS22  TE14 
Left arrow Sungei Bedok
Left arrow HarbourFront
  Punggol Right arrow
 NS24  NE6  CC1 
Dhoby Ghaut
  HarbourFront Right arrow
  Pasir Ris Right arrow
 NS25  EW13 
City Hall
 NS26  EW14 
Raffles Place
Left arrow Tuas Link
 NS27  CE2  TE20 
Marina Bay
Left arrow HarbourFront
  Stadium Right arrow
Left arrow Woodlands North
  Sungei BedokRight arrow
Marina South Pier
Station Number Station Name Image Interchange/Notes
 NS1  EW24  JE5  Jurong East NS1 Jurong East Platform D with escalator.jpg Cross-Platform Interchange with East West line
Interchange station with Jurong Region line (2027)
 NS2  Bukit Batok NS2 Bukit Batok Platform A.jpg
 NS3  Bukit Gombak BukitGombakMRT.JPG
 NS3A  Brickland (mid 2030s)[38][39]
 NS4  JS1  BP1  Choa Chu Kang NS4 Choa Chu Kang MRT.jpg Interchange station with
Bukit Panjang LRT and Jurong Region line (2026)
 NS5  Yew Tee Yew Tee with New Signage.jpg  
 NS6  DT  Sungei Kadut Interchange station with Downtown line (mid 2030s)[38][39]
 NS7  Kranji NS7 Kranji Platform.jpg  
 NS8  Marsiling NS8 Marsiling Siemens C651.jpg  
 NS9  TE2  Woodlands Woodlands Avenue 7, Woodlands MRT Station and Causeway Point.jpg Interchange station with Thomson-East Coast line (31 January 2020)
 NS10  Admiralty NS10 Admiralty MRT Platform.jpg
 NS11  Sembawang NS11 Sembawang MRT Platform.jpg  
 NS12  Canberra NS12 Canberra platform.jpeg Infill station
 NS13  Yishun Yishun MRT Station with PSDs.jpg
 NS14  Khatib NS14 Khatib Platforms-1.jpg  
 NS15  Yio Chu Kang NS15 Yio Chu Kang MRT Platform.jpg  
 NS16  CR11  Ang Mo Kio AngMoKioMRT-TopView.JPG Interchange station with Cross Island line (2029)
 NS17  CC15  Bishan Bishan MRT Station (NSL) - Platform B.jpg Interchange station with Circle line
 NS18  Braddell Ns18braddell.jpg
 NS19  Toa Payoh Toapayohmrtplatform.jpg  
 NS20  Novena NovenaMRTStation.jpg  
 NS21  DT11  Newton NS21 Newton Station.jpg Interchange station with Downtown line
 NS22  TE14  Orchard NS22 Orchard Platform B.jpg Interchange station with Thomson-East Coast line (2021)
 NS23  Somerset NS23 Somerset Platform B.jpg
 NS24  NE6  CC1  Dhoby Ghaut Dhoby Ghaut MRT (8643534516).jpg Interchange station with
North East line and Circle line
 NS25  EW13  City Hall CityHall MRTStation.jpg Cross-Platform Interchange with East West line
 NS26  EW14  Raffles Place Ns25 rafflesplace.jpg Cross-Platform Interchange with East West line
 NS27  CE2  TE20  Marina Bay Marina Bay MRT Station platform 20161204.jpg Interchange station with
Circle line and Thomson-East Coast line (2021)
 NS28  Marina South Pier Marina South Pier station Platform B (4).jpg

Rolling stock[edit]

From Left- 2 Siemens C651 trains and 2 Kawasaki C751B trains at Ulu Pandan Depot

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,[40] and in Ulu Pandan Depot.[41][42]

Train control[edit]

Half-height platform screen doors in Ang Mo Kio station

The North South line is currently equipped with Thales SelTrac Communications-based train control (CBTC) moving block signalling system[43] with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 3 (DTO).[44] 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.[45]

The old signalling system ceased operations on 2 January 2019.[42] 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. Train Captains are still present on the cab to monitor security.

All underground stations are installed with full-height platform screen doors supplied by Westinghouse since their opening. Half-height platform screen doors by ST Electronics were installed on all elevated stations on 14 March 2012.[18]


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  44. ^
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External links[edit]