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Downtown Line
Overview
Native name Malay: Laluan MRT Pusat Bandar
Chinese: 滨海市区地铁线
Tamil: டவுன்டவுன் எம்ஆர்டி வழி
StatusOperational (Stages 1, 2 & 3)
Under construction ( Hume, Stage 3 extension)
Under planning (Stage 2 extension)
Owner Land Transport Authority
Locale Singapore
Termini
Stations34 (Operational) [1]
3 (Under construction)
1 (Under planning)
Service
Type Rapid transit
System Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)
Services2
Operator(s) SBS Transit DTL Pte Ltd ( ComfortDelGro Corporation) [2]
Depot(s) Gali Batu
Tai Seng
East Coast (Future)
Rolling stock Bombardier Movia C951(A)
Daily ridership251,556 (July 2020) [3]
History
Planned opening2025; 1 year's time (2025) ( Hume)
2026; 2 years' time (2026) (Stage 3 extension)
mid-2030s (Stage 2 extension)
Opened22 December 2013; 10 years ago (2013-12-22) (Stage 1)
27 December 2015; 8 years ago (2015-12-27) (Stage 2)
21 October 2017; 6 years ago (2017-10-21) (Stage 3)
Technical
Line length41.9 km (26.0 mi) (Operational) [1]
2.2 km (1.4 mi) (Under construction)
CharacterFully underground
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8+12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 750 V DC  third rail
Operating speed100 km/h (62 mph)
Route map

future extension
to Sungei Kadut
Sungei Bedok
 TE31  DT37 
Sungei Bedok
 DT1 
Bukit Panjang
 BP6 
← to Choa Chu Kang
to Fajar via Petir/Senja →
Xilin
 DT36 
Expo
 DT35 
 DT2 
Cashew
 CG1 
 DT3 
Hillview
Upper Changi
 DT34 
 DT4 
Hume
Tampines East
 DT33 
 DT5 
Beauty World
← to Pasir Ris
to Tuas Link
 EW2 
Tampines
 DT32 
 CR15 
Tampines West
 DT31 
 DT6 
King Albert Park
Bedok Reservoir
 DT30 
 DT7 
Sixth Avenue
Bedok North
 DT29 
 DT8 
Tan Kah Kee
Kaki Bukit
 DT28 
 CC19 
Ubi
 DT27 
 DT9 
Botanic Gardens
 CC10 
 TE11 
MacPherson
 DT26 
 DT10 
Stevens
 DT11 
Newton
Mattar
 DT25 
 NS21 
Geylang Bahru
 DT24 
 DT12  NE7 
Little India
Bendemeer
 DT23 
 DT13 
Rochor
Jalan Besar
 DT22 
 DT21 
Bencoolen
 DT20 
Fort Canning
Bugis
 EW12  DT14 
Promenade
 DT15  CC4 
 NE4 
 DT19 
Chinatown
 DT18 
Telok Ayer
Bayfront
 DT16  CE1 
 DT17 
Downtown

The Downtown Line (DTL) is a medium-capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line in Singapore. It runs from Bukit Panjang station in the north-west of the country towards Expo station in the east via a loop around the city-centre. Coloured blue on the rail map, the line serves 34 stations, all of which are underground. [2] The DTL is the fifth MRT line on the network to be opened and the third line to be entirely underground. It is the second MRT line to be operated by SBS Transit after the North East Line. It also serves as an alternative to the East–West Line where it runs roughly geographically parallel from Bugis to Expo station.

Originally planned as three separate lines, the lines merged into the Downtown Line in 2007 and construction began in three stages. Stage 1, from Bugis to Chinatown station [a] opened in December 2013, followed by Stage 2 from Bukit Panjang to Rochor station [b] opening in December 2015. The third and final stage, from Fort Canning to Expo station, [c] opened in October 2017. At 41.9 kilometres (26.0 mi), the DTL is the longest underground and automated rapid transit line in Singapore as of 2017. [1] It utilises the Bombardier Movia C951 electric multiple unit (EMU) and runs in a three-car formation.

The line is set to have new stations and extensions in the 2020s and 2030s. An infill station initially constructed as part of Stage 2, Hume, is planned to begin operations in 2025. [4] Stage 3e, a two-station extension consisting of Xilin and Sungei Bedok, is under construction and is scheduled to begin operations in 2026. [5] By 2026, it will be about 45 kilometres (28 mi) long with 37 stations, and will serve more than half a million commuters daily. [6] An extension to connect with the North South Line at Sungei Kadut is also being planned and set to open in the 2030s. [7]

History

Background and inception

At the official opening of the Dover station on 23 October 2001, then-Minister for Communications and Information Technology Yeo Cheow Tong announced three MRT lines, two of which―the Bukit Timah Line and the northern part of the Eastern Region Line―are part of today's DTL. The Bukit Timah Line aimed to alleviate the traffic problems along the Bukit Timah and Dunearn Road corridor, and provide a direct link to the city area for residents in Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang. The proposed Eastern Region Line, slated to be a loop in the eastern regions, aimed to relieve the passenger load on the often-congested East–West Line and benefiting those living in Tampines, Bedok and Marine Parade. [8]: 16―17  [9] [10]

On 14 June 2005, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced the Downtown Extension (renamed to "Downtown Line Stage 1"), which would serve the New Downtown at Marina Bay area, where an integrated resort ( Marina Bay Sands) and Singapore's second botanical garden ( Gardens by the Bay) were to be located. The 3.4-kilometre (2.1 mi) extension, estimated to cost S$1.4 billion, was initially announced to be part of the Circle line. [11] On 27 April 2007, then Transport Minister Raymond Lim announced that the Downtown Line would be built in three stages stretching 40 kilometres (25 mi) with 33 stations. [12] [13] [14] [15]

Construction and opening

The construction of DTL tunnels near Clarke Quay. The diversion of the Singapore River for construction works for the tunnels between the Chinatown and Fort Canning stations was considered an engineering feat at the time. [16] [17] [18]
A separate entrance for the DTL platforms for Tampines MRT station, which is not directly connected to the EWL platforms of the station.

The line was built in 3 stages: Stage 1 of the Downtown line, stretching 4.3-kilometre (2.7 mi), started construction in January 2008 at Chinatown station, [8]: 30  where platform provisions were built to facilitate an interchange station during the construction of the North East line. It began service on 22 December 2013, [19] with its official inauguration made on the day before by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. [20]

Stage 2, first conceptualized and announced as the Bukit Timah line on 23 October 2001, is 16.6 kilometres (10.3 mi) long with 12 stations connecting Bukit Panjang and Rochor stations, including four interchange stations. Construction for Stage 2 began on 3 July 2009 with a groundbreaking ceremony at Beauty World station. [21] [22] The line inaugurated on 27 December 2015, with free travel for all 18 stations from 27 December 2015 to 1 January 2016. [23] [24] [25]

Stage 3 goes from Chinatown to Expo. The station locations and finalised route were unveiled on 20 August 2010. [26] [27] Stage 3 of the Downtown line is 21 kilometres (13 mi) long and serve 16 stations. [1] [28] The route opened on 21 October 2017, [29] with free travel for all DTL stations on the first two days of the line completion. [30] [31]

The line, with an estimated cost of S$12 billion, was considered the government's most ambitious rail project. The cost exceeded those of the Circle Line (at $6.7 billion) and the North East Line (at $4.6 billion). Final costs of building the line may reach an estimated about S$20.7 billion, up more than 70% from the initial estimation, due to sharp rises in construction costs and a number of changes in plans. [32] [8]: 19 

In October 2014, it was announced that Stage 2's opening would be pushed back to the first quarter of 2016. This was because one of the main contractors for the DTL2, Alpine Bau (which was building King Albert Park, Sixth Avenue and Tan Kah Kee), went bankrupt in mid-2013. [33] On 28 June 2015, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced that the delay was "completely resolved" by the authorities and Stage 2's opening date was brought forward to 27 December 2015. [34] [35] The DTL 3 started operations on 21 October 2017, officially opened by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan. [36] [37] [38]

To serve the line, the Gali Batu Depot was opened in December 2015 to stable 42 trains. It is situated at part of the former Kwong Hou Sua Teochew Cemetery off Woodlands Road. [39] Also in February that year, the Land Transport Authority announced that the capacity of the depot will be expanded to stable 81 trains by 2019. [40]

Future

On 17 January 2013, plans were announced for a southern extension extending from Expo to connect with the Eastern Region line (ERL); the ERL has since been subsumed into the Thomson-East Coast line. The extension was to provide more travel options and enhance connectivity for the residents along the East Coast. [41] [42] The Downtown Line 3 extension (DTL3e) was finalised and announced on 15 August 2014, in conjunction with the announcement of the Thomson–East Coast line. [43] Two stations, Xilin MRT station and Sungei Bedok MRT station, will be added to the Downtown Line, with Sungei Bedok as an interchange station with the Thomson–East Coast line. It will lengthen the line by 2.2 km (1.4 mi). [43] Expected to be completed in 2025, Stage 3e will connect the current East–West Line at Expo station and the future TEL at Sungei Bedok station. [44]

On 7 March 2019, Hume station was announced to be opened by 2025 to better serve Hillview residents. [4] [45] An additional extension to the Downtown Line to Sungei Kadut station from Bukit Panjang station was announced on 25 May 2019 by the LTA. The extension is set to cut down travel time to the downtown area by up to 30 minutes for those living in the northwestern area of Singapore. The extension is expected to be completed by the mid-2030s. A study will also be conducted to determine the stops to be added between the Sungei Kadut and the existing Bukit Panjang stations. [7]

Notable incidents

A fire occurred on a maintenance locomotive which was carrying out works at Mattar station on 24 May 2024 at around 1:00 am. This resulted in the section between Fort Canning and Mattar stations to be closed as the locomotive could not be moved until heat from its body dissipated. The fire was put out by SCDF and one staff member was conveyed to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Service at the affected stations resumed at 7:26 am after more than an hour since the start of train service. [46]

Network and operations

Route

Geographically accurate map of the Downtown MRT line. [47]

The Downtown line generally goes in an east–west direction from Bukit Panjang in the northwestern side of Singapore, through the downtown area of Singapore, to Tampines and the Singapore Expo in the east. It is 41.9 kilometres (26.0 mi) long and is entirely underground. Before Bukit Panjang station, there exists a brief northwards extension to the line's depot Gali Batu Depot. The line begins at the Bukit Panjang station and then goes in the southeast direction, running parallel to Upper Bukit Timah Road and along the Bukit Timah Canal through Bukit Timah. The line then enters the central area, passing through Little India station before reaching the Central Business District via Bugis station. The Downtown line runs parallel to the Circle line at the Promenade and Bayfront stations. Passing through the Downtown Core, the line interchanges with the North East line at Chinatown station.

After Chinatown station, the line goes in a northeast direction and under the Singapore River. Between the Bencoolen and Jalan Besar stations, the line intersects itself, the first MRT line to do so. After Geylang Bahru station, the line continues in a general eastwards direction, through the industrial areas of Kampong Ubi and Kaki Bukit (briefly paralleling Ubi Avenue 2 and Kaki Bukit Avenue 1), before continuing towards the Tampines Regional Centre and goes southwards, ending at Changi Business Park. The DTL3 extension (DTL3e) from Expo station will extend the line further towards the Thomson–East Coast line at Sungei Bedok station. [48]

Stations

Station codes for the line are blue, corresponding to the line's colour on the system map. Most stations have island platforms, with the exception of Downtown, Telok Ayer, Chinatown and MacPherson stations having side platforms whilst Stevens and Promenade stations having stacked side platforms.

The initial LED Dynamic Route Map Display (DRMD) system on DTL trains that was in use from 2013 to 2024 (top), and the current LCD DRMD which has since replaced the former (bottom).
Downtown Line stations timeline
Date Project Description
22 December 2013 Stage 1 BugisChinatown
27 December 2015 Stage 2 BugisBukit Panjang
21 October 2017 Stage 3 ChinatownExpo
2025 Hume Station Hume station between Hillview and Beauty World
2026 Stage 3 Extension ExpoSungei Bedok
By mid-2030s Stage 2 Extension Sungei KadutBukit Panjang

Legend


Elevated
 
Line terminus

Transfer outside paid area

Ground-level

Wheelchair accessible

Bus interchange

Underground

Civil Defence Shelter
     
Other transportation modes

List

Station code Station name Images Interchange;
Adjacent transportation
Opening Cost
 DT0  NS6 
Infill station
 
Sungei Kadut Does not appear    North–South Line  (mid-2030s) mid-2030s [7] TBA

 DT1  BP6 
  
Bukit Panjang    Bukit Panjang LRT  

  Bukit Panjang
27 December 2015;
8 years ago
S$452.4 million [d]
 DT2 
  
Cashew S$431 million [e]
 DT3 
  
Hillview
 DT4 
Infill station
 
Hume 2025;
1 year's time
S$259.538 million [f]
 DT5 
  
Beauty World  Beauty World 27 December 2015;
8 years ago
S$339.88 million [g]
 DT6  CR15 
  
King Albert Park    Cross Island Line  (2032) S$574.7 million [h]
 DT7 
  
Sixth Avenue
 DT8 
  
Tan Kah Kee S$572 million [i]
 DT9  CC19 
  
Botanic Gardens    Circle Line  S$378.2 million [j]
 DT10  TE11 
 
Stevens    Thomson–East Coast Line  
 DT11  NS21 
  
Newton    North–South Line   S$356 million [k]
 DT12  NE7 
  
Little India    North East Line  S$803.3 million [l]
 DT13 
 
Rochor
 DT14  EW12 
  
Bugis    East–West Line  22 December 2013;
10 years ago
S$582 million [m]
 DT15  CC4 
 
Promenade    Circle Line  

 Marina Centre
S$231 million [n]
 DT16  CE1 
 
Bayfront    Circle Line Extension  S$463 million [o]
 DT17 
 
Downtown S$230.3 million [p]
 DT18 
 
Telok Ayer S$224.9 million [q]
 DT19  NE4 
  
Chinatown    North East Line  S$160.3 million [r]
 DT20 
 
Fort Canning 21 October 2017;
6 years ago
S$255.05 million [s]
 DT21 
 
Bencoolen S$177.58 million [t]
 DT22 
 
Jalan Besar S$171.46 million [u]
 DT23 
 
Bendemeer S$215.24 million [v]
 DT24 
  
Geylang Bahru S$123 million [w]
 DT25 
 
Mattar S$199.85 million [x]
 DT26  CC10 
  
MacPherson    Circle Line  S$188 million [y]
 DT27 
 
Ubi S$161.71 million [z]
 DT28 
 
Kaki Bukit S$93.8 million [aa]
 DT29 
  
Bedok North S$480.38 million [ab]
 DT30 
  
Bedok Reservoir S$196.46 million [ac]
 DT31 
  
Tampines West S$226.92 million [ad]
 DT32  EW2 
  
Tampines    East–West Line  

  Tampines
  Tampines Concourse
S$118.5 million [ae]
 DT33 
  
Tampines East S$208.52 million [af]
 DT34 
  
Upper Changi S$256.98 million [ag]
 DT35  CG1 
  
Expo    EWL Changi Airport Branch Line  (until 2040)
   Thomson–East Coast Line  (after 2040)
S$211.35 million [ah]
Stage 3 Extension (under construction, to be ready by 2026)
 DT36 
 
Xilin 2026;
2 years' time
S$833.6 million [ai]
 
 DT37  TE31 
  
Sungei Bedok    Thomson–East Coast Line  (2026) S$418 million [aj]

Depots

Number Depot name;
Lines
Location Images Line-specific
stabling capacity
Cost Opening
1
   Gali Batu  Sungei Kadut 81 trains S$410 million 27 December 2015;
8 years ago
2
   Tai Seng  Hougang Does not appear 18 trains S$81.5 million 21 October 2017;
6 years ago
3
   East Coast 
   EWL 
   TEL 
Changi Does not appear 66 trains S$1.99 billion [49] [50] [51] 2026;
2 years' time

Rolling stock

Gali Batu Depot which houses the Bombardier MOVIA C951(A) trains.

As of 2011, the Downtown line has one type of rolling stock, the Bombardier MOVIA C951(A) cars, [52] running in a three-car formation. They have been stabled at Gali Batu Depot since it opened with Stage 2 of the downtown line on 27 December 2015. For the period between the opening of Stage 1 and that of Stage 2, trains were stabled at a maintenance facility that was built at Marina Bay as part of the Circle line project. Kim Chuan Depot housed the Operations Control Centre for the Downtown Line Stage 1 until Gali Batu Depot was ready. [53]

On 12 October 2012, the first of 11 trains for the line arrived at Jurong Port. It was transported to Kim Chuan Depot to undergo testing by the LTA before it was handed over to SBS Transit. [54] As of 28 February 2013, Bombardier had delivered five of the 11 trains for Downtown line stage 1. [55] LTA together with the operator, SBS Transit, conducted the necessary tests to ensure safety standards, functional performance and systems compatibility requirements were met before revenue service began on 22 December 2013. [56]

Testing for Stage 2 began on 25 October 2015 and rolling stock that was delivered to Gali Batu Depot commenced service in Stage 1 on 21 October 2015, while SBS Transit slowly moved the equipment managing the DTL trains to Gali Batu Depot during non-revenue hours. [8] Kim Chuan Depot, together with the adjacent Tai Seng Facility Building, operated in a minor capacity until Stage 3 opened. A new depot, named the East Coast Integrated Depot, is planned to provide additional stabling capacity to the line in 2025. [57] Testing on the integration of systems of Stage 3 and the rest of the line started from 14 May 2017 till 27 August 2017. [58]

Train control

The Downtown line is equipped with Siemens (previously Invensys before Siemens acquisition) Trainguard Sirius Communications-based train control (CBTC) moving block signalling system with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 4 (UTO). [59] The subsystems consist of Automatic train protection (ATP) to govern train speed, Controlguide Rail 9000 Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) to track and schedule trains and Trackguard Westrace MK2 Computer-based interlocking (CBI) system that prevents incorrect signal and track points to be set. [60] [61]

A fall-back signalling system, relying on conventional track-circuit occupancy detection, is included to ensure fully automatic operation and train protection independent of the radio system.

Platform screen doors (PSDs) along the line were installed by Westinghouse Signal (Invensys Rail Group), supplied by Faiveley. [62] The PSDs provide safety for passengers, offering protection from arriving and departing trains. [63] [64]

Notes

  1. ^ Formerly the Downtown Extension of the Circle Line.
  2. ^ Formerly the Bukit Timah Line.
  3. ^ Formerly the northern stretch of the Eastern Region Line.
  4. ^ DTL2 Contract 912
  5. ^ DTL2 Contract 913
  6. ^ S$225.2 for DTL2 Contract 915, S$34.338 million for Contract 915A for completion works
  7. ^ DTL2 Contract 916
  8. ^ S$320.7 million for DTL2 Contract 917, S$254 million for DTL2 Contract 917A for completion of works after insolvency of first contractor
  9. ^ S$350 million for DTL2 Contract 918, S$222 million for DTL2 Contract 918A for completion of works after insolvency of first contractor
  10. ^ DTL2 Contract 919
  11. ^ DTL2 Contract 920
  12. ^ DTL2 Contract 921
  13. ^ DTL1 Contract 903
  14. ^ DTL1 Contract 902
  15. ^ DTL1 Contract 906
  16. ^ DTL1 Contract 907
  17. ^ DTL1 Contract 908
  18. ^ DTL1 Contract 909
  19. ^ DTL3 Contract 937
  20. ^ DTL3 Contract 936
  21. ^ DTL3 Contract 935
  22. ^ DTL3 Contract 933
  23. ^ DTL3 Contract 932A
  24. ^ DTL3 Contract 932
  25. ^ DTL3 Contract 931
  26. ^ DTL3 Contract 930
  27. ^ DTL3 Contract 929
  28. ^ S$268.68 million for DTL3 Contract 928 for Bedok North station, S$211.7 million for DTL3 Contract C929A for reception tunnels to Tai Seng Facility Building
  29. ^ DTL3 Contract 927
  30. ^ DTL3 Contract 926
  31. ^ DTL3 Contract 925A
  32. ^ DTL3 Contract 925
  33. ^ DTL3 Contract 923
  34. ^ DTL3 Contract 922
  35. ^ DTL3e Contract T313
  36. ^ Contract T312; cost shared with Thomson–East Coast Line

References

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External links