Expect faster rides soon on North-South Line

Expect faster rides soon on North-South Line

Commuters will have faster rides on the North-South Line when rail works are completed by the end of this month.

By then, all 96,000 timber sleepers - used to hold tracks in place - will be replaced with concrete ones, and speed restrictions which have been imposed for safety reasons will be lifted.

Trains will run at 80kmh, instead of between 40kmh and 60kmh at some stretches of track, cutting travel times by around 10 to 15 per cent.

A trip between Jurong East and Marina Bay, for example, will take about 67 minutes instead of 77 minutes.

Since 2012, rail operator SMRT has been installing concrete sleepers, which last twice as long as the wooden ones.

Mr Chua Chong Kheng, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) deputy chief executive for infrastructure and development, said that with the works on the line coming to an end, the speed of the trains will be returning to normal.

The LTA and SMRT said on Saturday that sleeper replacement works for the East-West Line will start from the middle of next month.

This will involve changing more than 92,000 sleepers between Boon Lay and Tiong Bahru stations, as well as between Lavender and Pasir Ris.

Temporary speed restrictions have already been imposed along certain track sections, slowing travel times by about 10 minutes.

Train services at certain stations may also end earlier to facilitate the works, which are expected to be completed by the end of next year.

Both the North-South and East-West lines received an additional 13 new trains last year.

With higher operating standards in place, the number of weekly train trips on the network has increased by 10 per cent.

During peak periods, average waiting times have come down by 12 seconds, to 2 minutes 18 seconds.

The off-peak wait has been reduced to between four and five minutes, compared with five and seven minutes previously.

This article was first published on April 27, 2015.
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