The Downtown line (DTL) is a medium-capacity Mass Rapid Transit line in Singapore. It runs from Bukit Panjang in the north-west to Expo in the east. Currently, the line is Template:Convert long and has 34 stations, all of which are underground. The line is coloured blue on the rail map.

The original line was built in 3 stages, which opened in 2013, 2015 and 2017 respectively. Stage 3e, an extension of the line to Pedra Branca, is under construction and will be completed in 2024, and Hume MRT station is planned to open in 2025. The line connects the North-Western and Central-Eastern regions to downtown Singapore.

This line is the fifth MRT line on the network to be opened, the third to be entirely underground, and, with 3-car trains, the second medium-capacity line after the Circle line. When fully completed in 2024, the line will be about Template:Convert long with 36 stations, and will serve more than half a million commuters daily. It will also be the longest rapid transit line in Singapore to use completely automated, driverless trains, the longest of such lines in the world and the longest rapid transit line in South East Asia. Travelling from one end to the other will take around 67 minutes. It is the second MRT line to be operated by SBS Transit after the North East line.


On 14 June 2005, the Land Transport Authority announced the Downtown Extension of the Circle Line to serve the Downtown at Marina Bay area, where an integrated resort (Marina Bay Sands) and Singapore's second botanical garden (Gardens by the Bay) was to be located. The 3.4-kilometre fully underground line was estimated to cost S$1.4 billion. Construction of the extension was slated to begin in 2007. During the construction of the North East Line at Chinatown station, platform provisions for the Downtown Extension were built to facilitate an interchange station.

A new depot, the Gali Batu Depot, is under construction at part of the former Kwong Hou Sua Teochew Cemetery off Woodlands Road to serve the line.

Stage 1Edit

By April 2007, plans were finalized for the extension to connect Promenade with Bugis. The former Downtown Extension of the Circle Line was assimilated into the Downtown Line and was revamped as part of Stage 1, a 4.3-kilometre 6 station segment connecting Chinatown to Bugis stations. A new depot, the Gali Batu Depot, is under construction at part of the former Kwong Hou Sua Teochew Cemetery off Woodlands Road to serve the line.

Stage 2Edit

Stage 2 of the Downtown Line was first conceptualized and announced as the Bukit Timah Line. It was supposedly a 20-kilometer line that would connect the new downtown with the Bukit Panjang, Upper Bukit Timah and Bukit Timah corridor, alleviating the heavy traffic travelling along the sector, but a full route was never released. Provisions were provided at Nicoll Highway station which would have seen the line terminating there and interchanging with the Circle Line.

However, the Nicoll Highway collapse and subsequent feasibility works deemed the old station unusable, with the new station being located in a different location. By July 2008, the Bukit Timah Line was announced to have been rerouted towards Promenade station. Construction for Stage 2 began on 3 July 2009 with a groundbreaking ceremony at Beauty World Station.

Stage 3Edit

Stage 3 of the Downtown Line comprises of the northern segment of the original Eastern Region Line announced in 2001, a 40-kilometre rectangular loop that would have looped around the Jalan Besar and East Coast areas, intersecting the Circle Line and other current lines along the way and passing through Tampines, Bedok, Marine Parade, MacPherson and Kaki Bukit. The Eastern Region Line was however never built and repeatedly delayed. By 2010, it was announced that the northern segment of the original plan from Chinatown to Expo passing through the Jalan Besar area have been merged with the Downtown Line and their station locations and working names for Stage 3 were officially announced on 20 August 2010. In order to accommodate the construction of an additional station at Jalan Besar, the completion of the segment was pushed to 2017. The finalized names for the Stage 3 stations were announced on 19 August 2011.

2011 onwardsEdit

In August 2011, SBS Transit won the bid and was appointed to be the operator of the Downtown Line, under a new framework which would see the authority remaining the owner of the line. Final costs of building the line may reach an estimated S$20.7 billion, up more than 70% from an initial estimation of S$12 billion. In January 2013, plans for a southern extension which will run from Expo through the East Coast area, interchanging with the Eastern Region Line were announced for completion by 2025.

On 24 June 2013, work stopped on the King Albert Park, Sixth Avenue and Tan Kah Kee stations, after Alpine Bau GmbH, the previous main contractor, filed for insolvency on June 19. McConnell Dowell South East Asia (SEA) Private Limited and SK E&C (Singapore) was subsequently contracted to complete the work on the three stations. As a result of the delay, the completion of Downtown Line Stage 2 has been pushed back from December 2015 to the middle of 2016.[1]

Stage 1 of the Downtown Line began service on 22 December 2013, with its official inauguration made on the day before by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

It has been announced that Downtown Line will be extended to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal and Pedra Branca. DTL3e was announced on 15 August 2014, in conjunction with the announcement of the Thomson-East Coast MRT Line. 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 add an additional 2.2 km to the line with the extension. Due in 2024, Stage 3e will join the current East West and future Thomson-East Coast lines that runs through Marine Parade.[2]

In October 2014, it was announced that Stage 2's opening would be pushed back to the first quarter of 2016. It had to be delayed when main contractor Alpine Bau went bankrupt in mid-2013.[3]

On 28 June 2015, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced that the delay caused by Alpine Bau's insolvency was "completely resolved" by the authorities and Stage 2's opening date was reverted back to 27 December 2015.[4]


Marina Boulevard had to be temporarily closed and traffic was diverted on the morning of June 18, 2008 after soil on a construction site next to the road sank. Urban Redevelopment Authority said the hole measured 5 metres wide and was 2.5 metres deep. It sank at about 9:10 am. This caused a hole next to the Marina Boulevard slip road leading towards East Coast Parkway. URA said the soil subsidence is located within the construction site where construction works for the common services tunnel is being carried out. No one was injured. About 25m of the rightmost two lanes on Bukit Timah Road has been closed off to traffic after a nearby drain embankment caved in on 17 January 2012 in the course of tunnelling works for the Downtown Line. LTA said that its engineers found a 14m precast segment of the Bukit Timah canal wall near the junction of Bukit Timah Road and Clementi Road dislodged, and some gaps in the ground were formed around that segment of the canal. It then stopped its tunnelling works to ensure safety and has begun to inject cement to stabilise the ground.[5]

On 11 March 2012, a worker was killed at a site between the Botanic Gardens and Stevens stations after a concrete slab fell on him. 35-year-old Masud Al Mamun was operating an excavator deep in the ground when the slab fell on him. Rescuers had to use a breaking tool kit to break a portion of the concrete slab. It took nearly five hours to reach the man lying motionless on the ground. This is the first casualty case in the construction of the Downtown Line.[6]

On 18 July 2012, two Chinese workers died after a temporary scaffolding, about four metres high, used for the construction of the new Downtown Line Bugis station subway link roof slab gave way. The incident happened at about 6:50 am. The eight other injured workers who were working on top of the structure, were sent to the nearby Raffles Hospital before rescuers arrived. They had minor injuries and five of them have since been discharged. Of the remaining three workers who were warded, one suffered from abdominal and chest injuries, while another suffered a back injury and the last had a finger injury. Seven of the injured are from Bangladesh while the eighth is from China. The Ministry of Manpower(MOM) has ordered all construction work to stop, while the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has revoked the construction permit for the site while investigations are underway. MOM said that based on preliminary information gathered, workers were pouring concrete, also known as the casting process, into the formwork when the structure supporting the formwork collapsed. The formwork, located between the new and old sections of the station, was part of the structure being built to form the underground linkway, which is about three to four metres deep. The area affected is localised, measuring about five metres by 10 metres and the entire station is about 7,500 square metres. The Land Transport Authority said the station structure is substantially complete and structurally sound, and that the incident posed no risk to surrounding developments and the public.[7][8][9]

On 22 August 2013, the main and sub-contractor Soletanche Bachy and Koh Brothers at the construction site were charged in court over the collapse. The two companies were said to have failed to take measures to ensure that the workplace was safe and without risks to health to every person within the premises on 18 July 2012.[10]

Excavation works for the Downtown Line 2 caused a massive sinkhole on Woodlands Road on 16 March 2013. The construction destabilised the soil, which ruptured an underground water pipe. The rupture which was as wide as one of the road's lanes, appeared near West View Primary School, next to where construction work for Downtown Line 2 is being carried out.[11]

Line disruptionsEdit

On 22 Dec 2013, the opening day of Downtown Line 1, service was disrupted for about 15 minutes at about 12pm. It was caused by a train fault.[12] The incident happened at Bayfront station and delayed services between Bugis and Chinatown stations.[13]

On 27 Dec 2013, the power supply of the Downtown Line 1 was tripped and caused service disruption of the whole Downtown Line 1 at about 9pm. A train's detrainment door device was activated, leading to emergency brakes being applied. This resulted in a tripping of the power supply to the line, which is a safety feature of the system. It was suspected that a child accidentally activated the detrainment door device. Service was resumed at 10.10pm. 50 passengers on one train were detrained at Bayfront station. Bus bridging services were deployed for the Downtown Line 1.[13]


Main article: List of Downtown MRT Line station names

Here are the following station locations for all three stages of the Downtown Line.

Station Name Interchange/Notes
Stage 2
Bukit PanjangBukit Panjang LRT
Beauty World
King Albert Park
Sixth Avenue
Hwa Chong
Botanic GardensCircle Line
StevensThomson Line (under construction)
NewtonNorth South Line
KK Hospital
Little IndiaNorth East Line
Stage 1
BugisEast West Line
PromenadeCircle Line
BayfrontCircle Line
Telok Ayer
ChinatownNorth East Line
Stage 3
Fort Canning
Sungei Road
Kallang Bahru
MacPhersonCircle Line
Kaki Bukit
Town Park
Huang Wen
Godric's Hollow
ExpoEast West Line
Changi South
Timothy ION
Park Central
Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal
Changi Naval Base
Pedra Branca

Rolling stockEdit

File:Chinatown Station Downtown Line Platform 201401.jpg

The rolling stock consists of Bombardier MOVIA C951 cars,[14] running in three-car formation. They will be stabled at Gali Batu Depot when it opens with Stage 2 of Downtown Line by 2016. For the period between the operation of Downtown Line Stage 1 and Downtown Line Stage 2, trains will be stabled at a maintenance facility that was built at Marina Bay as part of the Circle Line project. Kim Chuan Depot will house the Operations Control Centre for the Downtown Line until Gali Batu Depot and Changi Coast Depot is ready to be used.[15]

On 12 October 2012, the first of 11 trains for the Downtown Line Stage 1 arrived at Jurong Port. It was transported to Kim Chuan Depot to undergo testing by LTA before it was handed over to SBS Transit.[16] Template:As of, Bombardier had delivered five of the 11 trains for Downtown Line Stage 1.[17] 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.[18]

Train controlEdit

The Downtown Line is equipped with a fully automatic communication-based train control system, using a digital radio system for communication between trains and the centralised control system.[19] 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. Automatic platform screen doors provide safety for passengers, offering protection from arriving and departing trains.

External linksEdit


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  14. LTA Awards 6 Downtown Line Contracts Totalling $1.13 Billion
  15. Contract 901QP: Terms of Reference, Land Transport Authority, 9 November 2007 (tender document from
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  19. Invensys Rail secures signalling contract for Singapore’s new Downtown Line
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