On 21 December, Singapore Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, opened the first stage of the new fully automated metro line. Passengers were able to start riding on it from Sunday 22.
Speaking at the opening ceremony at Downtown Station, PM Lee said this first stage marks the beginning of plans to double the rail network to 360km by 2030. He added that the Government is continuing to invest in public transport infrastructure to make Singapore a better home and raise the quality of life.
First stage of 42km line
The Downtown Line (DTL) is Singapore’s fifth Mass Rapid Transit line. When fully complete, the line will be about 42km long with 34 stations and will serve about half a million commuters daily, making it the longest underground and driverless mass rapid transit line in Singapore.
The line will be completed in 3 stages:
The Downtown Line will facilitate direct travel from the northwestern and eastern areas of the island to the Central Business District (CBD) and the Marina Bay areas.
The DTL is the third in Singapore to be entirely underground. Travelling from one end to the other will take about 65 minutes.
The 4.3km DTL1 consists of six stations – Bugis, Promenade, Bayfront, Downtown, Telok Ayer and Chinatown.
DTL1 will provide a strategic transport link to serve workers, residents and visitors in the Marina Bay area and other upcoming developments. It will run through some of the busiest corridors in the city such as Bugis and Chinatown and ease congestion at interchange stations like DhobyGhaut and Raffles Place stations. The interchange stations at Chinatown and Bugis will provide connectivity to the rest of the rail network.
On stage 1, the DTL1 will operate with six trains. Each trip between Bugis and Chinatown will take about nine to ten minutes. Including the longer dwell time provided at terminal stations which are also busy interchange stations, DTL1 trains will run at frequencies of four minutes during peak and five minutes during off-peak hours.
Stages 2 and 3
When the DTL is fully operational and more trains are added to the system, LTA will run trains at shorter frequencies.
The 16.6km long Downtown Line 2 comprises one depot and 12 stations and the 21km and 16 stations of stage 3 are expected to be completed by 2017.
CBTC and fall-back signalling system
The Downtown Line is equipped with CBTC, using a digital radio system for communication between trains and the centralised control system. A fall-back signalling system, relying on conventional track-circuit occupancy detection, is included to ensure fully automated operation and train protection independent of the radio system.
The rolling stock consists of Bombardier MOVIA C951 cars, running in three-car formation over third rail tracks.
Stations are equipped with platform screen doors.