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The Light Rail Transit (LRT), also known as the Light Rapid Transit, is the light rail component of Singapore's rail network, consisting of localised rail systems acting as feeder services to the Mass Rapid Transit network. The first LRT line was opened in 1999 and the system has since expanded to three lines, each serving a public housing estate, namely Bukit Panjang, Sengkang and Punggol. Trains on these lines link to the MRT network at Choa Chu Kang, Sengkang and Punggol stations respectively while the Bukit Panjang LRT will link to a second MRT station, Bukit Panjang by 2016.

The system is closer to an automated people mover (APM) system such as those found in many airports around the world than a traditional light rail system. All the lines are fully automated and elevated, and run on viaducts in order to save scarce land space in Singapore.

Lines are constructed by the Land Transport Authority, with operating concessions currently handed to SMRT Light Rail and SBS Transit.

HistoryEdit

ConceptionEdit

The concept of having rail lines which could bring people from door to door without requiring the use of road-based buses was much favoured by the government transport planners, especially with the increased emphasis on a rail-based public transport network. For intra town travel, LRTs were favoured over buses because trains run on dedicated elevated guideways, bypassing any traffic congestion and traffic lights on the roads, and do not add to road traffic. Train arrival and departure times are also almost guaranteed this way. It is also cleaner as the trains are electrically powered, and therefore lessens the effects of air pollution.

Opening of linesEdit

The Bukit Panjang LRT opened on 6 November 1999, with all 14 stations opened at the same time.

The Sengkang LRT opened in two main stages, the East Loop opening first on 18 January 2003 and most of the West Loop on 29 January 2005. Farmway on the West Loop opened on 15 November 2007, but Cheng Lim and Kupang stations remain closed due to less development within the area. On 1 January 2013, Cheng Lim opened for passenger service.[1]

For the Punggol LRT, the East Loop started operating on the same day as the Sengkang LRT's West Loop, with two stations closed. Oasis was opened for service on 15 June 2007, after more residents moved into Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats in the station's vicinity.[2] Damai was opened on June 20, 2011.[3] The West Loop remains closed and will only be opened for passenger service when the station surroundings are further developed.

On 1 January 2013, Sengkang West LRT operated in both directions throughout the day, instead of only during the morning and evening peak hours which is the case currently.

Cancelled plansEdit

During the unveiling of Urban Redevelopment Authority Concept Plans in 2001, there have been a number of previously proposed LRT Systems that were initially being planned. The government had also looked into the feasibility of using it to connect neighboring towns with one another such as one that would link and connect the towns of Bedok and Tampines. Others such as Yishun, Orchard Road, Bras Basah, Marina South, Lim Chu Kang and Buona Vista were also proposed. All of which would have been rejected for impracticalities such as insufficient demand and high costs incurred by the government.

Punggol North LRTEdit

A Northern branch consisting of the two to four LRT stations for the Punggol LRT has been planned, which would have brought commuters from Punggol to Sam Kee and Teck Lee before branching out from the West Loop tracks into the branch, terminating near the present-day Punggol North MRT Station near Coney Island. Eventually, the branch was never built. Its existence is only on the website of Mitsubishi, which shows 19 LRT stations that would have been present for the Punggol LRT Line, in which only 15 had been built.

The withdrawal of the construction of Punggol North LRT by 2013 is likely to allow the Punggol North MRT Station and the bus interchange to take its place and better serve the residents in the area.

Jurong Region LineEdit

Originally there are plans to have LRTs in Jurong Region since 2001, this had turned into Jurong Region Tram, which would have served and linked the planning areas in Jurong, Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang and Tengah. However, the LTA announced in 2008 that there were no plans to develop the LRT line. It has been upgraded to the MRT line as part of the Land Transport Masterplan 2013 and is set to be ready by 2025.

ImprovementsEdit

Sengkang-Punggol LRT ImprovementsEdit

Template:See On 31 October 2012, LTA announced that by 2016, Sengkang and Punggol LRT systems will be upgraded to a two-car system for 16 of the 41 existing train cars, allowing double the number of passengers to board at any one time. Each train car can take up to 105 passengers. Hence, there is also the need to modify the signaling and communication system.[4]

On 22 December 2015, the two-car trains entered service on the Sengkang LRT line, boosting capacity to 204 per trip as compared to 105 in a single car configuration.[5]

As of 2017, two car trains have entered service on the Punggol LRT line.[6]

On 15 December 2017, the Land Transport Authority said there will be limited services on parts of the Sengkang-Punggol LRT (SPLRT) on most Sundays from 14 January 2018 to 25 February 2018, to facilitate renewal and improvement works from (except 18 February as it is a Chinese New Year holiday). Only one platform will open for service at 5.30am on Sundays. The other platform will open from 7am.[7][8][9] The arrangement is expected to continue until 29 April 2018.[10][11]

On 14 February 2018, the LTA announced that it has taken over SBS Transit's rail assets (the North East MRT line and Sengkang-Punggol LRT lines) worth $30.8 million and transit to the New Rail Financing Framework on 1 April 2018.[12] The LTA has also said that this will benefit commuters as there will be "more coordinated and timely expansion, and renewal of the rail system".[13]

From 27 May 2018 to 7 October 2018, limited services on Sundays will continue on the Sengkang-Punggol LRT (SPLRT). One platform will open at 5.30am and the other platform will open at 5.30pm.[14][15]

Bukit Panjang LRT ImprovementsEdit

Template:See For the Bukit Panjang LRT Line, SMRT and LTA announced for plans to completely overhaul the BPLRT system as the system is reaching its lifespan of 20 years.[16] Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan has also announced plans to shut the Bukit Panjang LRT down for a small number of years to pave the way for the system's overhaul.[17] On 23 October 2017, SMRT announced that the Bukit Panjang Light Rail Transit (BPLRT) system will begin operations at 7 am, instead of 5.30am, on all Sundays from 12 November 2017 until the end of the year, to allow more time for works to improve service reliability.[18]

On 23 March 2018, SMRT said that the Bukit Panjang LRT Line will be closed on 11 Sundays from 15 April 2018 to 24 June 2018 as part of maintenance works aimed to improve the reliability of the beleaguered system.[19][20]

On 21 June 2018, SMRT said from 1 July 2018 to 28 October 2018, all BPLRT stations will open on Sundays at 8am, instead of the usual 5.30am.[21][22][23]

On 13 January 2019, Ten Mile Junction served its last passengers and closed on the next day, 14 January 2019. It also ended Bukit Panjang LRT Service C. Then, Ten Mile Junction was converted into Ten Mile Junction LRT Depot.

InfrastructureEdit

NetworkEdit

Line and livery Opening year Termini Stations Length (km) Depot
SMRT Light Rail
Bukit Panjang LRT 1999 Choa Chu Kang Ten Mile Junction 14 7.8 Ten Mile Junction Depot
SBS Transit
Sengkang LRT 2003 Sengkang (East Loop) 6 10.7 Sengkang Depot
2005 Sengkang (West Loop) 9
Punggol LRT 2005 Punggol (East Loop) 8 10.3
Not in operation Punggol (West Loop) 8
† excluding Kupang, which is not operational.

FacilitiesEdit

Since the LRT was built in the 1990s, plans for barrier-free facilities were included during the planning stages. All 43 stations are equipped with these facilities, thus there will be no difficulty for the handicapped. Barrier free facilities include lifts, ramps, tactile guidance system and toilets with handicapped friendly facilities; all stations include wide faregates. These barrier free facilities will be included in all future LRT stations.[24]

File:Senja LRT Station, Singapore.jpg
File:ThanggamLRT.JPG

LinesEdit

Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT)Edit

The Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT) is a 7.8 km light rail line opened in 1999 and part of Singapore's light rail system.

Sengkang LRT (SKLRT)Edit

The Sengkang LRT (SKLRT) is a 10.7 km light rail line which partly opened on 18 January 2003. It forms part of the LRT system together with the other two lines.

Punggol LRT (PGLRT)Edit

The Punggol LRT (PGLRT) is a light rail line in Singapore within the LRT system. Its first phase, which comprises a 10.3 km light rail line with 15 stations, began operating on 29 January 2005 (with the exception of Oasis, which was opened on 15 June 2007 and Damai, which was opened on 20 June 2011).

StationsEdit

Main article: List of Singapore LRT stations

The LRT network has 43 stations, but only 34 stations are in operation, as the stations' surroundings are not yet built up and will open at a later date. This includes, Cheng Lim and Kupang on the West loop of the Sengkang LRT Line and the entire West Loop of the Punggol LRT Line. On 1 January 2013, Cheng Lim opened for passenger service.[1]

DepotsEdit

File:SengkangDepot.JPG

The LRT system consists of two depots, which run the maintenance, inspection, train overhaul facilities and house the cars overnight. The Ten Mile Junction Depot houses cars for Bukit Panjang LRT, and the Sengkang Depot houses cars for the Sengkang LRT and Punggol LRT, together with the North East Line of the Mass Rapid Transit.

Rolling stockEdit

File:Bukit Panjang LRT Cars.jpg
File:Singaporecrystalmover.JPG

The trains on the LRT system are fitted with rubber tyres, rather than steel wheels, on specially-constructed guideways from which its power is also sourced. All cars are fully automated and driverless, and are controlled from their respective depots.

19 Bombardier CX-100s operate on the Bukit Panjang LRT. Capable of operating at a maximum speed of 55 km/h, its pioneers can be traced to as early as 1990, when Westinghouse and Adtranz (acquired by Bombardier) co-operatively built the skytrain system for the Singapore Changi Airport with the same design. However, the Bombardier stock was fraught with unreliability and technical glitches. The CX-100 cars can be coupled to operate in pairs during peak hours.

The Crystal Mover are the newer rolling stock of the Singapore LRT system, operating on the Sengkang LRT and Punggol LRT. Built by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan, it currently maintains a cleaner record of reliability. The Crystal Movers are used on Singapore Changi Airport Skytrain system.

Fares and ticketingEdit

Main article: Fares and ticketing on the Light Rail Transit (Singapore)

The Light Rail Transit uses the same ticketing system as the Mass Rapid Transit. It uses the contactless EZ-Link smart card and a standard single trip ticket. EZ-Link adult fares range from S$0.68 to S$0.90 (excluding a transfer rebate of $0.50). Single trip ticket fares for adults on the LRT range from S$1.00 to S$1.20.

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ReferencesEdit

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  21. https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/bukit-panjang-lrt-sundays-late-opening-10454556
  22. https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/bukit-panjang-lrt-to-resume-sunday-operations-in-july-but-with-later-opening
  23. https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/bukit-panjang-lrt-resume-operations-sunday-july-1-later-opening-time
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See alsoEdit

External linksEdit

Template:Commons and category Template:Light Rail Transit (Singapore)


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