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Kim Chuan Depot

Kim Chuan Depot (Chinese: 金泉车厂) is a rail depot for the Mass Rapid Transit system in Singapore. The depot cost S$297 million to construct and houses the trains for the Circle Line and upcoming Downtown Line. The depot is fully underground, reaching a depth of 24 m at some points. It provides stabling of the trains, maintenance and operational control of the line. The depot has a capacity for 77 trains and has an area of 100,000 m². The depot is located along Upper Paya Lebar Road and 2.1 million cubic metres of soil had to be excavated for its construction. An administration building with offices, a warehouse, a canteen and a 66 kilovolt substation is located above the depot. The remaining 3 hectares of land left empty will be used for light industrial use with buildings on it up to 9 storeys high.

Touted as the world's biggest underground depot, it officially opened on 4th March, 2009, employing 300 staff members.

This depot is operated by SMRT Trains and temporarily by SBS Transit since 22 December 2013 until Gali Batu Depot is ready to be used.


Contract 821 (C821) for the initial construction of Kim Chuan Depot was awarded to Hock Lian Seng Infrastructure Ltd at a contract sum of S$297 million. Most of the depot is underground: at 800 metres in length, 160 metres in width and 23 metres in height, built at a depth of between 18-22 metres below ground level.

The depot is serviced by a two-storey surface building located at Kim Chuan Road, near the junction of Paya Lebar Road, where administrative offices are located. It also functions as the primary access point into the depot, with passenger and cargo lifts connecting to the lower levels. For oversized deliveries, such as the delivery of train cars, a vehicular access ramp is located along Kim Chuan Road (next to Hougang Avenue 3). Ventilation buildings and emergency stairs are also located around the depot site.

A total of four reception tracks connect Kim Chuan Depot to the Circle Line. Situated between Tai Seng and Bartley station along the CCL, 2 tracks head southbound towards Tai Seng (clockwise loop) while 2 tracks head northbound towards Bartley (counterclockwise loop).

  • Acquisition of land in 2002
  • Construction began in January 2003
  • Completion in June 2005, without Nicoll Highway collapse
  • First train was delivered in January 2006 and completed in May 2009

DTL Stage 1Edit

Prior to the opening of the Downtown Line (Stage 1) between Bugis and Chinatown, Kim Chuan Depot (KCD) was used for the delivery of Downtown Line trains and as a temporary stabling facility until the completion of Tai Seng Facility Building (TSFB), where the new facility took over the stabling of trains. When the Downtown Line (Stage 1) opened in December 2013, its temporary Operations Control Centre (OCC) was situated in KCD. Administrative offices and other facilities were shared with SBS Transit staff. Both KCD and TSFB were used to perform maintenance on DTL trains.

As reception tracks east of TSFB (which were part of DTL Stage 3) had not been constructed yet, DTL trains made use of CCL tracks between Kim Chuan Depot and Bayfront. However, due to the incompatibility of signalling equipment installed on both lines, DTL trains had to be towed by locomotive between TSFB and Bayfront, a process which only took place during engineering hours at night. Light maintenance work was instead carried out at the Marina Bay Temporary Maintenance Facility (MBTMF), which was an additional siding at Marina Bay station purposed for maintenance work.

The use of KCD to support DTL operations ceased in 2015, after the opening of the Downtown Line (Stage 2), where Gali Batu Depot became the main depot for Downtown Line trains. The OCC for DTL was also relocated to Gali Batu Depot.

Tai Seng Facility BuildingEdit

Purpose built to support Downtown Line (Stage 3) operations, the facility is located east of KCD. Both underground depot facilities are connected by a single reception track. An additional 2 more reception tracks were built as part of the Downtown Line 3, with 1 track heading eastbound towards Bedok North station and 1 track heading westbound towards Ubi station.

Relocation of the OCCEdit

Starting from Sunday, 19 March 2019, SMRT completed the relocation of the NSEWL Operation Control Centre (OCC) from North Bridge Road, as well as the Maintenance Operations Centre (MOC) from Bishan Depot, integrating them into Kim Chuan Depot and right next to the existing Circle Line OCC, forming the Integrated Operations Control Hub (SMRT Trains Rail Operations Centre). By bringing the control centres under one roof, SMRT aimed to pursue a holistic approach to planning, implementing, operating and maintaining its rail network.

With this move, along with the relocation of SMRT’s headquarters to Paya Lebar Quarter, 251 North Bridge Road would be returned to the LTA for future development, after their use by Facebook before it was also moved to Marina One.

Extension of Kim Chuan DepotEdit

By 2025, Kim Chuan Depot would be expanded to almost double its capacity from 70 to 133 trains. The 16-hectare integrated depot building will also house a multi-storey bus depot at surface level on top of the underground rail depot for optimised land use. Contract 821A (C821A) for the construction of Kim Chuan Depot Extension (KCDE) was awarded to Woh Hup (Private) Limited for S$1,211.74 million in September 2017.

To make way for excavation work, part of the existing bus park at Hougang Bus Depot had to be demolished. The Depot was expanded towards the North and East to compensate for lost parking space at the South end of the depot.

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