MRT Singapore Destination 4.svg
MRT Singapore Destination 5.svg

North South line
North South Line logo.svg
NS9 Woodlands MRT Platforms 20201118 112747.jpg
Woodlands station, which is one of the most heavily utilised stations of the line.
Overview
Native nameLaluan MRT Utara Selatan
南北地铁线
வடக்கு தெற்கு எம்ஆர்டி வழி
StatusOperational
OwnerLand Transport Authority
LocaleSingapore
TerminiJurong East
Marina South Pier
Stations29 (27 in operation, 2 under planning)
Service
TypeRapid transit
SystemMass Rapid Transit (Singapore)
Services2
Operator(s)SMRT Trains (SMRT Corporation)
Depot(s)Bishan
Ulu Pandan
Rolling stockKawasaki Heavy Industries C151 (KHI)
Siemens C651 (SIE)
Kawasaki–Nippon Sharyo C751B (KNS)
Kawasaki–Sifang C151A (KSF)
Kawasaki–Sifang C151B (KSF)
Kawasaki–Sifang C151C (KSF)
Alstom Movia R151 (Future)
Daily ridership456,323 (July 2020)[1]
History
Planned openingMid-2030s (Brickland, Sungei Kadut)
Opened7 November 1987; 34 years ago (1987-11-07) (First section)
4 November 1989; 32 years ago (1989-11-04) (Initial line complete)
10 February 1996; 26 years ago (1996-02-10) (Woodlands extension)
23 November 2014; 7 years ago (2014-11-23) (Marina South Pier)
2 November 2019; 2 years ago (2019-11-02) (Canberra)
Technical
Line length45 km (28 mi)
Number of tracks2; 3(Ang Mo Kio)
CharacterElevated (Jurong EastAng Mo Kio)
Subsurface (Bishan)
Underground (BraddellMarina South Pier)
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 diagram

 NS11 
Sembawang
Canberra
 NS12 
 NS10 
Admiralty
Yishun
 NS13 
Khatib
 NS14 
 TE2 
 NS9 
Woodlands
Yio Chu Kang
 NS15 
Ang Mo Kio
 NS16 
 NS8 
Marsiling
 CR11 
 NS7 
Kranji
 CC15 
 NS6  DT 
Sungei Kadut
Bishan
 NS17 
 NS5 
Yew Tee
Braddell
 NS18 
Toa Payoh
 NS19 
 JS1 
Novena
 NS20 
 NS4 
Choa Chu Kang
 DT11 
 BP1 
Newton
 NS21 
Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1
 NS3A 
Brickland
Orchard
 NS22 
 NS3 
Bukit Gombak
 TE14 
Somerset
 NS23 
 NS2 
Bukit Batok
 NE6 
Dhoby Ghaut
 NS24 
 CC1 
 NS1 
 EW24 
 JE5 
Jurong East
City Hall
 NS25 
 EW13 
Raffles Place
 NS26 
 EW14 
Marina Bay
 NS27 
 CE2 
 TE20 
Marina South Pier Marina South Pier
 NS28 

The North South line (NSL) is a high-capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line in Singapore, operated by SMRT Corporation. Coloured red on the rail map, the line is 45 kilometres (28 mi) long and serves 27 stations, 11 of which, between the Bishan and Marina South Pier stations, are underground. It runs from Jurong East station, located in Western Singapore, to Marina South Pier station in the Central Area, via Woodlands station in northern Singapore. The line operates for 19 hours a day (from approximately 5:30 am to around midnight), with headways of up to 2 to 3 minutes during peak hours and 5 to 8 minutes during off-peak hours. All the trains on the North South Line run with a six-car formation.

It was the first MRT line to be built in Singapore, with the first section from Yio Chu Kang station to Toa Payoh station beginning service on 7 November 1987, followed by an extension southwards to Raffles Place station on 12 December the same year and northwards to Yishun station on 20 December 1988. After the southern extension to Marina Bay station opened on 4 November 1989, the North South line was formed and split from the East West line. In the 1990s, the line extended to the north and west connecting to the Branch line via Woodlands through the Woodlands line extension.

Since the 2010s, due to the ageing infrastructure of the North South Line (being the oldest and heavily utilised MRT line), significant improvements have been made on this line, such as the replacement of sleepers, third rail replacement and the introduction of new rolling stocks (the C151B and the C151C) to replace the older rolling stocks and increase passenger capacity. The North South Line is also the first line to have undergone a major re-signalling project, converting it from semi-automatic to fully automated operations in 2019. Other recent developments of the line include a new extension to Marina South Pier station on 23 November 2014 and a new infill station, Canberra station, on 2 November 2019. Two more infill stations (Brickland and Sungei Kadut stations) on the line are being planned and are set to be opened in the 2030s.

History

Initial developments

Main article: History of the Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)

A plaque at Toa Payoh station commemorating the opening of the first phase of the Singapore MRT
A plaque at Toa Payoh station commemorating the opening of the first phase of the Singapore MRT

The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) originated from a forecast in 1967 by the planners of the State and City Planning Project,[2] which stated the need for a rail-based urban transport system in Singapore by 1992.[3][4]: 66 [5] Following a debate on whether a bus-only system would be more cost-effective, then-Minister for Communications Ong Teng Cheong came to the conclusion that an all-bus system would be inadequate, as it would have to compete for road space in the land-scarce country.[6][7]

After deciding on a rail-based system, the construction of Phase I of the MRT system,[8] which will be the North South line, was given priority as the line passes through areas having a higher demand for public transport, such as the densely populated housing estates of Toa Payoh and Ang Mo Kio and the Central Area. The line was expected to relieve the traffic congestion on the Thomson–Sembawang road corridor.[9][10] Construction of the MRT line (and also the MRT system itself) started on 22 October 1983,[11] and the first section from Yio Chu Kang station to Toa Payoh station opened on 7 November 1987.[12][13] At the inauguration ceremony, Ong Teng Cheong, who backed and commissioned the planning of the MRT system, attended the ceremony as a special Guest of Honour. Dr Yeo Ning Hong, the Minister For Communications and Information, inaugurated the start of MRT operations and announced it to be the "beginning" of the MRT system.[14]

Nine more stations from Novena station to Outram Park station via Raffles Place opened on 12 December that year.[15] The line was extended northward to Yishun station on 20 December 1988 as part of phase 2B[16] and it began independent operations on 4 November 1989 as the North South line when the extension to Marina Bay station was opened.[17][18]

Woodlands extension

The growth of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system demonstrates the Government’s commitment to develop a top-rate public transport system for the benefit of our people. Now [the Woodlands residents] too can enjoy the high quality service provided by the MRT... Achieving a world class land transport system takes time. Whether we can do so or not does not depend on the Government alone. It depends on all of us. If the people and the Government continue to work together, as we have done in the past, we will produce the economic growth and budget surpluses to build, not just a world-class transport system, but also the most attractive Singapore for our children to grow up in the 21st Century.

– Then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, at the official opening of the Woodlands MRT line, on 10 February 1996.[19]

After the Branch line (from the Jurong East to Choa Chu Kang stations) opened in 1990, the Woodlands MRT line was envisioned so as to close the gap between Yishun and Choa Chu Kang stations.[20][21][22] Numerous changes were made to the number of stations for the extension mainly to accommodate the 1991 Concept Plan by the Urban Redevelopment Authority,[23] which aimed to make Woodlands a regional centre for northern Singapore.[24]

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.[25] Sembawang station[26] and Kranji station[27] were later included in the construction after the second round of planning (construction began at the same time on 19 November 1992) and Sungei Kadut station was then omitted. Sungei Kadut will be built later if the town's population justifies the necessity for the station.[28]

During the construction, a total of 19 new trains were purchased for almost S$259 million for the new MRT line, designed by German company Siemens Aktiengesellschaft, to complement the 66 first-generation C151 trains. There was also a need to level the land covered in thick vegetation in Kadut, Woodlands and Sembawang for the MRT line.[29]

With the official opening of the Woodlands extension on 10 February 1996 by then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, the Branch line was incorporated into the North South line.[21] The extension was built at a cost of $1.2 billion.[30]

Subsequent developments

Main articles: Marina South Pier MRT station and Canberra MRT station

Canberra MRT station.
Canberra MRT station.

The NSL platforms of the Bishan station underwent major alterations to increase the passenger capacity of the station from 1,250 to 2,020. A new air-conditioned platform to serve southbound trains to Marina South Pier was constructed and opened for service on 27 July 2008. The station was expanded to handle increased passenger traffic when the CCL station opens.[31] As the original platform, now serving northbound trains to Jurong East, remained in service, upgrading works for the platform (Platform A) was hindered and took about a year to complete. While the re-tiling of the platform was done during the day, the Platform Screen Doors (PSDs) were installed in sections through the night. An air-conditioning system was also installed as part of the upgrade. Upgrading works for the platform were fully completed on 23 May 2009.[32]

Under the Land Transport Master Plan 2008, 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.[33] The modification project was completed on 27 May 2011.[34] The track and platform was initially opened during morning peak hours only, but since December 2011, they also operate during the evening peak hours.[35]

In the 2008 Land Transport Master Plan, the 1-kilometre (0.6 mi) North South Line extension was announced as one of the upcoming projects rolled out by the Land Transport Authority to expand Singapore's rail network.[36] The single station extension from Marina Bay to Marina South Pier station was opened on 23 November 2014.[37][38] This extension serves the Marina South Pier, the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore, and future developments in the Marina Bay Downtown area.[39]

On 17 January 2013, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that a feasibility study was conducted to construct Canberra MRT station.[40][41] The feasibility study was completed in 2014 and LTA announced Canberra as a new station.[42] Construction of Canberra station commenced on 26 March 2016.[43] 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,[44] and is meant to serve upcoming developments at the vicinity. Canberra station opened on 2 November 2019.[45]

Incidents

On 3 March 2003, a 23-year-old man lost control of his vehicle along Lentor Avenue, crashed through the fence, and landed on 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 S$100,000 and $150,000 in damages and lost revenue.[46]

On 15 December 2011, train services between Bishan and Marina Bay stations were disrupted due to damage sustained on the power rail between City Hall and Dhoby Ghaut. Trains along this stretch were stalled and caused a service disruption until 11:40 pm on that day.[47][48] Two days later, a similar problem caused a seven-hour disruption between Ang Mo Kio and Marina Bay.[49][50] 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.[51] 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.[52]

On 7 July 2015, train services on the North South and East West lines were temporarily disrupted due to massive power trips detected along both lines. A cause of the disruption was due to damaged insulators which caused a failure to properly supply power.[53][54][55][56] For this disruption that brought inconvenience to 413,000 commuters, LTA imposed a 'record' fine of S$5.4 million on SMRT.[57]

On 7 October 2017, a 20-hour long disruption of services started due to flooding in the tunnels between Braddell station and Bishan station due to a faulty drainage system, resulting in disruption of train services between Ang Mo Kio and Marina South Pier stations 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 9:20 pm on the same day, followed by Newton and Ang Mo Kio at around 2 pm the following day.[58] 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.[59]

On 14 October 2020, train services from Jurong East to Woodlands stations were disrupted for more than three and a half hours, owing to a faulty power cable, which affected the East West Line and Circle Line too. The power fault began at 7 pm and by 7:30 pm, commuters were stuck in the trains. Free bus bridging services were activated at all affected stations, and bus operators increased the frequency of regular services serving these areas. Service resumed at all stations along the North–South and East-West Lines at 10:35 pm.[60] A total of 36 stations was affected by the power fault.[61] The incident leads to a replacement of 150km of power cables for the Tuas West Extension and 2 SMRT staff suspended.[61]

Future plans

Locator maps of Brickland and Sungei Kadut stations
Locator maps of Brickland and Sungei Kadut stations

Main articles: Brickland MRT station and Sungei Kadut MRT station

In the Land Transport Master Plan 2040 (LTMP2040), two new stations are projected to be built along the existing North South Line. Brickland station will be built between Bukit Gombak and Choa Chu Kang stations, while Sungei Kadut station will be built between Yew Tee and Kranji stations and provide an additional interchange with the Downtown Line. Both stations are expected to be completed by mid-2030s.[62][63][64][65]

Network and operations

Services

Train services on the North South MRT line operates from approximately 5:30 am to around midnight daily. In general, during peak hours, train frequency is 2 to 3 minutes while during non-peak hours the frequency is reduced to 5 minutes throughout the entire route.[66] Each day, the first train begins service at approximately 5:15 am (5:35 am on Sundays and public holidays) from Jurong East station to Marina South Pier station. From Marina South Pier station, the first train going to Jurong East station begins service at 6:10 am (approximately 6:40 am on Sundays and public holidays). In the evenings, selected trains from Jurong East station will terminate at the Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh stations.[67] Selected trains departing from Marina South Pier station will also terminate at Kranji station in the late evenings.[68]

Train services on the North South Line are also subjected to maintenance and renewal works, usually on selected Fridays & Saturdays. Shuttle bus services may be provided throughout the duration of the early closures and late openings for affected commuters.[69] Operations of the North South Line are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the drop of ridership.[70][71]

Route

Geographically accurate map of the North South MRT line.
Geographically accurate map of the North South MRT line.

The North South line forms an incomplete loop from Jurong East in the West Region of Singapore, north to Woodlands and Sembawang, and south to the Central Area.[72] It is 45 kilometres (28 mi) long and is predominantly double-tracked, but certain short sections at the Woodlands, Yishun and Ang Mo Kio stations widen to three tracks,[73][74][75] and four tracks at Jurong East station.[76] The line begins above ground at Jurong East station[77][78] from where it continues north on a set of elevated viaducts, with the exception of a short tunnel between the Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak stations,[79] and a surface section of track between the Bukit Gombak and Choa Chu Kang stations.[80] The line curves from the Yew Tee to Kranji stations and continues eastwards, paralleling Woodlands Avenue 3 (which the line briefly cuts underneath between Kranji and Marsiling stations)[81] and Avenue 7 main roads.[82]

After Sembawang station, the line follows the route of Canberra Link and Yishun Avenue 2, curving southwards. Between Khatib and Yio Chu Kang stations parallel to Lentor Avenue, the line continues at surface level; this section is the longest distance between any two MRT stations in Singapore.[83] The line continues above ground for the Yio Chu Kang and Ang Mo Kio stations, then it goes back to surface level for Bishan station, the MRT system's only at-grade station. A branch line to Bishan Depot exists between the Ang Mo Kio and Bishan stations.[84] After Bishan, the line goes underground through the Central Area. The North South line runs parallel to the East West line at the City Hall and Raffles Place stations, which are also cross-platform interchanges to the East West line. The line terminates at Marina South Pier.[85][78]

Stations

The line serves 27 stations across 45 kilometres (28 mi) of track, and station codes for the line are red, corresponding to the line's colour on the system map.[72][86] 11 stations, from Braddell to Marina South Pier are underground, with the rest being ground-level or elevated.[87] With the exception of Bishan, Braddell and Canberra stations, the other stations have island platforms.

North South Line stations timeline
Date Project Description
7 November 1987 Phase 1 Yio Chu KangToa Payoh (5 stations)
12 December 1987 Toa PayohOutram Park (9 stations) (Direct train service to Outram Park via Raffles Place)
12 March 1988 Phase 1A Outram ParkClementi (6 stations) Now part of the East-West Line
5 November 1988 Phase 2B Clementi - Lakeside (3 stations) Now part of the East-West Line
20 December 1988 Yio Chu KangYishun (2 stations)
4 November 1989 Phase 2A Raffles Place - Marina Bay (1 station) (Separation of the North-South Line & East-West Line)
10 March 1990 Phase 2B Jurong East - Choa Chu Kang (3 stations) (Operates as a branch line from Jurong East)
10 February 1996 Woodlands Extension Choa Chu Kang - Yishun (6 stations)
23 November 2014 North-South Line Extension Marina Bay - Marina South Pier (1 station)
2 November 2019 Canberra Station Canberra station between Sembawang and Yishun
By mid-2030s Future stations between existing stations Brickland station between Bukit Gombak and Choa Chu Kang
Sungei Kadut station between Yew Tee and Kranji

Legend

Aiga escalator up.svg
Elevated
MRT Singapore Destination 1.svg MRT Singapore Destination 14.svg
Line terminus
Barrier turnstile icon.svg
Transfer outside paid area
Aiga escalator.svg
Ground-level
MUTCD D9-6.svg
Wheelchair accessible
Bus-logo.svg
Bus interchange
Aiga escalator down.svg
Underground
ISO 7010 W003.svg
Civil Defence Shelter
Aiga carrental cropped.svg BSicon CHN-Mono.svg BSicon AETRAM.svg Aiga watertransportation.svg 20 airtransportation.svg Aiga immigration.svg
Other transportation modes

List

Station code Station name Images Interchange;
Adjacent transportation
Opening Cost
MRT Singapore Destination 4.svg
 NS1  EW24  JE5 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Jurong East
NS1 Jurong East MRT Platform D 20200918 142800.jpg
Aiga escalator up.svg  East West Line 
Aiga escalator up.svg  JRL East Branch  (2028)

Bus-logo.svg Jurong East
5 November 1988;
33 years ago
S$5 billion
 NS2 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Bukit Batok
NS2 Bukit Batok Platform A.jpg
Bus-logo.svg Bukit Batok
10 March 1990;
32 years ago
 NS3 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Bukit Gombak
NS3 Bukit Gombak Platform B.jpg
 NS3A 
Infill station
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Brickland Does not appear
mid-2030s
TBA
 NS4  BP1  JS1 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Choa Chu Kang
NS4 Choa Chu Kang MRT.jpg
Aiga escalator up.svg  Bukit Panjang LRT 
Aiga escalator up.svg  Jurong Region Line  (2027)

Bus-logo.svg Choa Chu Kang
10 March 1990;
32 years ago
S$5 billion
 NS5 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Yew Tee
Yew Tee with New Signage.jpg
10 February 1996;
26 years ago
S$1.2 billion[88]
 NS6  DT 
Infill station
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Sungei Kadut Does not appear Aiga escalator down.svg  Downtown Line  (mid-2030s)
mid-2030s
TBA
 NS7 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Kranji
NS7 Kranji Platform.jpg
10 February 1996;
26 years ago
S$1.2 billion[89]
 NS8 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Marsiling
NS8 Marsiling Platform-2.jpg
 NS9  TE2 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg ISO 7010 W003.svg
Woodlands
NS9 Woodlands NSL platforms.jpg
Aiga escalator down.svg  Thomson–East Coast Line 

Bus-logo.svg Woodlands
Bus-logo.svg Woodlands Temporary
 NS10 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Admiralty
NS10 Admiralty MRT Platform.jpg
 NS11 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Sembawang
NS11 Sembawang MRT Platform.jpg
Bus-logo.svg Sembawang
 NS12 
Infill station
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Canberra
NS12 Canberra Platform B C151C.jpg
2 November 2019;
2 years ago
S$274 million[90]
 NS13 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Yishun
Yishun MRT Station with PSDs.jpg
Bus-logo.svg Yishun
20 December 1988;
33 years ago
S$5 billion
 NS14 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Khatib
NS14 Khatib Platforms 20200719131148.jpg
 NS15 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Yio Chu Kang
Platform screen doors at Yio Chu Kang MRT station, Singapore.jpg
Bus-logo.svg Yio Chu Kang
7 November 1987;
34 years ago
 NS16  CR11 
Aiga escalator up.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Ang Mo Kio
NS16 Ang Mo Kio Platform A-1.jpg
Aiga escalator down.svg  Cross Island Line  (2030)

Bus-logo.svg Ang Mo Kio
 NS17  CC15 
Aiga escalator.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg ISO 7010 W003.svg
Bishan
NS17 Bishan MRT Platform B C151B 20201015 192247.jpg
Aiga escalator down.svg  Circle Line 

Bus-logo.svg Bishan
 NS18 
Aiga escalator down.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg ISO 7010 W003.svg
Braddell
NS18 Braddell MRT Platform B 20201004 114726.jpg
 NS19 
Aiga escalator down.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Toa Payoh
NS19 Toa Payoh platforms.jpg
Bus-logo.svg Toa Payoh
 NS20 
Aiga escalator down.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Novena
NS20 Novena NSL platforms 20200825 191251.jpg
12 December 1987;
34 years ago
 NS21  DT11 
Aiga escalator down.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg ISO 7010 W003.svg
Newton
NS21 Newton Station.jpg
Aiga escalator down.svg  Downtown Line  Barrier turnstile icon.svg
 NS22  TE14 
Aiga escalator down.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Orchard
NS22 Orchard Platform B.jpg
Aiga escalator down.svg  Thomson–East Coast Line  (2022)
 NS23 
Aiga escalator down.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg ISO 7010 W003.svg
Somerset
NS23 Somerset Platform B.jpg
MRT Singapore Destination 8.svg
 NS24  NE6  CC1 
Aiga escalator down.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Dhoby Ghaut
NS24 Dhoby Ghaut station Platform B.jpg
Aiga escalator down.svg  North East Line 
Aiga escalator down.svg  Circle Line 
 NS25  EW13 
Aiga escalator down.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg ISO 7010 W003.svg
City Hall
NS25 City Hall Platform A.jpg
Aiga escalator down.svg  East West Line 
 NS26  EW14 
Aiga escalator down.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg ISO 7010 W003.svg
Raffles Place
NS26 Raffles Place Platform D.jpg
Aiga escalator down.svg  East West Line 
MRT Singapore Destination 10.svg
 NS27  CE2  TE20 
Aiga escalator down.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg ISO 7010 W003.svg
Marina Bay
Marina Bay MRT Station platform 20161204.jpg
Aiga escalator down.svg  Circle Line 
Aiga escalator down.svg  Thomson–East Coast Line  (2022)
4 November 1989;
32 years ago
MRT Singapore Destination 5.svg
 NS28 
Aiga escalator down.svg MUTCD D9-6.svg
Marina South Pier
NS28 Marina South Pier (15831633656).jpg
Aiga watertransportation.svg Marina South Pier Aiga immigration.svg
Aiga watertransportation.svg Marina Bay Cruise Centre Aiga immigration.svg
23 November 2014;
7 years ago
S$357.5 million[91]

Depots

Number Depot name;
Lines
Location Images Line-specific
stabling capacity
Cost Opening
1
Aiga escalator.svg  Bishan  Bishan
NSL Bishan MRT Depot 20201013 183038.jpg
59 trains S$300 million
7 November 1987;
34 years ago
2
Aiga escalator.svg  Ulu Pandan 
Aiga escalator.svg  EWL 
Jurong East
Ulu Pandan Depot.jpg
34 trains S$130 million
12 March 1988;
34 years ago

Infrastructure

Rolling stock

A variety of rolling stocks on the North South Line
Various older generation rolling stock of the North South Line parked at Bishan Depot.
The newer rolling stocks of C151B and C151C at Choa Chu Kang station.

Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains on the North South Line operate in a six-car formation, based out of Bishan Depot and Ulu Pandan Depot, which provides train maintenance, inspection and overhaul facilities.[92][93][94] Similar rolling stock is used on the East West Line, with an electrification of 750 V DC powered by a third rail. With the exception of the C651 trains, the current rolling stock was manufactured by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, in a joint venture with CRRC Qingdao Sifang for the subsequent rolling stocks of the C151A, C151B and C151C trains.[95] When the initial line opened, the rolling stock of the North South Line consisted of 66 first-generation C151 trains only. The 19 second-generation C651 trains was introduced during the Woodlands extension to complement the existing 66 first-generation C151 trains.[96] The 21 third-generation C751B trains was introduced during the Changi Airport extension to complement the existing 66 first-generation C151 trains and 19 second-generation C651 trains.[97][98] In 2011, the fourth-generation C151A was introduced, increasing the passenger capacity of both the North South and East West lines by 15%.[99][100][101] The C151A trains was the first successful joint venture between Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Qingdao Sifang in the international market.[102]

As part of efforts to further increase passenger capacity on the line, newer C151B and C151C trains was subsequently delivered in 2017 and 2018 respectively.[103][104] The introduction of the C151B trains saw the introduction of STARiS 2.0, which is also seen in subsequent rolling stocks.[105] The C151C trains is also the first MRT rolling stock on the NSEWL to be fitted with tip-up seats, in addition to the current features of the C151B trains.[106][107]

Another generation of rolling stock, the CR151 trains, will be delivered from 2022 to 2026, to replace all 66 first-generation C151, all 19 second-generation C651 and all 21 third-generation C751B trains which will be retired. The CR151 trains will be the first rolling stock on the North South Line to be manufactured by Bombardier, which has also supplied trains for the Downtown Line.[108][109][110]

Signalling

Initially, the North South line used a semi-automatic signalling system consisting of the Westinghouse fixed block signalling system with automatic train control under automatic train operation GoA 2.[111][112] However, the ageing system had undermined the rail reliability on the line, requiring the NSL to upgrade its signalling system.[113] Since 2019, the North South line is fully equipped with Thales SelTrac Communications-based train control moving block signalling system with automatic train control under automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 3 (DTO).[114][115] The subsystems consist of automatic train protection to govern train speed, NetTrac MT Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) to track and schedule trains and a Computer-based interlocking system that prevents incorrect signal and track points to be set.[116]

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.[117][118] The new system was tested on the evening of 28 March 2017. Train services were paused for ten minutes as the old signalling system was being changed to the new system.[119] 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.[120] Since 28 May 2017, the new signalling system has been operating full-day on the North South line.[121] The old signalling system then ceased operations on 2 January 2019.[94]

Platform screen doors

Full-height platform screen doors at Toa Payoh station.
Full-height platform screen doors at Toa Payoh station.

When the line was first opened, full-height platform screen doors supplied by Westinghouse were installed at underground stations. These doors serve to prevent suicides, enable climate control within the station, better security control by restricting access to the tunnels and tracks and for overall passenger safety considerations.[122] The authorities initially rejected calls for platform screen doors to be installed at elevated stations by casting doubts over functionality and concerns about the high installation costs.[123] Nevertheless, the LTA reversed its decision and made plans to install half-height platform screen doors on elevated stations on 25 January 2008.[124][125] The first platform screen doors by ST Electronics were installed at Pasir Ris, Jurong East and Yishun stations in 2009 as trial runs.[126] Subsequently, installation began in May 2011 at Ang Mo Kio station. On 14 March 2012, platform screen doors became operational at all elevated stations on the North South line.[127]

Rail

The NSL was built with wooden sleepers, which needed to be replaced when they neared the end of their lifespan of 15 to 25 years. The replacement sleepers, made out of concrete, have a significantly longer lifespan and enable smoother and safer rides.[128] Since 2014, train services on the line have ended earlier for critical maintenance works, with the exception of a break between September 2016 and December 2017.[129]

Trains on the NSL are powered via a third rail. However, constant contact between the train's Current Collector Devices (CCD) and the line saw the need for replacement works on the third rail, which were completed in August 2017.[128][130] 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.[131]

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