Stage 1 is almost ready to roll

Stage 1 is almost ready to roll

It is almost all systems go for the first stage of the new Downtown Line (DTL), which opens next month, as operator SBS Transit ramps up last-minute tests and training.

It is conducting several exercises to test its emergency plans and responses, as well as putting its staff through the paces in engineering, traffic control, train and station operations.

More than 400 people have been recruited for Downtown Line Stage One (DTL1), which has six stations: Chinatown, Telok Ayer, Downtown, Bayfront, Promenade and Bugis.

"Intensive preparations to get the line ready for passenger service are ongoing," said SBS Transit spokesman Tammy Tan of the Dec 22 opening.

The operator received eight new trains from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in September for the 4.3km DTL1. Another 80 have been ordered for the entire Downtown Line project at a cost of $690.2 million.

Built in China by the Changchun Bombardier Railway Vehicles Company (CBRC) - a joint venture between Bombardier and CNR Changchun Railway Vehicle Co - the three-car trains feature standing "perch seats" and rubber strips at doors to reduce the platform gap from 75mm to 40mm.

LTA senior group director for rail Sim Wee Meng said the DTL trains are designed with the commuter in mind. For instance, the propulsion and brakes are designed to prevent sudden jerks so commuters have a more comfortable ride.

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