The North East MRT Line (NEL) is the third Mass Rapid Transit line in Singapore and the world's second longest fully underground, automated and driverless, rapid transit line after the Circle Line.[1] The line is 20 km long with 16 stations. Travelling from one end of this line to the other end takes 33 minutes.[2] This line is coloured purple in the rail map.


File:Buangkok MRT Station 2, Aug 06.JPG

As the name implies, the line connects central Singapore to the north-eastern part of the island. Transfer to the North South Line is provided at Dhoby Ghaut, to the East West Line at Outram Park and to the Circle Line at Serangoon, Dhoby Ghaut and HarbourFront. The North East Line interchanges with the Downtown Line at Chinatown and will interchange with a future extension of the Downtown Line at Little India. The North East Line will interchange with the future Thomson Line at Outram Park. This line was the first in Singapore to be entirely underground.

The North East Line is the first line in Singapore to have artwork integrated into all its 16 stations under the Art in Transit programme. Other than the Art in Transit programme, the interior architecture for the stations are typical of the design of the early 2000s with lots of white, glass and steel. This kind of design can be seen in other subway stations built during this period like the Shenzhen Metro and Hong Kong MTR's Tseung Kwan O line.

Template:As of, trains operate at two-minute intervals during peak hours, five-minute intervals during mid-day service and six-minute intervals in the early morning and night times.


The Land Transport Authority received approval for the construction of the North East Line on 16 January 1996. French company Alstom was chosen as the main contractor and manager of the project. The operating license was given to new rail operator SBS Transit in order to foster competition with SMRT Trains.

In the initial stages of planning, Outram Park was initially planned to be the southern terminus of the North East Line. However, in 1993, the Land Transport Authority decided to extend the line southwards to HarbourFront, after noting that many people liked to go to the World Trade Centre (the present day HarbourFront Centre).

The line was scheduled for completion in December 2002, but due to various problems in the automation, the opening was repeatedly delayed. It was finally opened on 20 June 2003, with higher fares than existing lines supposedly to compensate for the heavy construction costs (S$4.6 billion).

At the time that the line was opened, all of the stations were operating except Buangkok and Woodleigh. SBS Transit announced that these would open only when there was a critical mass of passengers in those areas. With respect to Buangkok, which had already been fully built, the company claimed that the projected number of passengers was too low to cover operating costs. Constant public pressure, notably the "White Elephant" incident and subsequent media attention, forced it to review the situation and the station duly opened on 15 January 2006. The last station on the line, Woodleigh, opened on 20 June 2011 in anticipation of an American International School which is under construction in the vicinity of the station that is slated to open in 2012.[3]

The North East Line's numbering scheme reserves station code "NE2" between HarbourFront (NE1) and Outram Park (NE3).

On 17 January 2013, a 2-kilometre extension which will run from Punggol through Punggol North including the new Punggol Downtown was announced. It is expected to be completed by 2030.[4]


Main article: List of Singapore MRT stations
File:MRT Singapur NEL Train.JPG
File:North East Line, Singapore, Train, Aug 06.JPG
Station Name Interchange
HarbourFrontCircle Line
RaeburnNot opened
Outram ParkEast West Line
Thomson Line (under construction)
ChinatownDowntown Line
Clarke Quay 
Dhoby GhautNorth South Line
Circle Line
Little IndiaDowntown Line
Farrer Park 
Boon Keng 
Potong Pasir 
SerangoonCircle Line
SengkangSengkang LRT
PunggolPunggol LRT
Punggol NorthComing soon
Pasir GudangComing soon

Rolling stockEdit

File:North East Line, Singapore, Train 2, Aug 06.JPG

The rolling stock consists of Alstom Metropolis C751A trains, running in six-car formation. These trains operate from Sengkang Depot near Buangkok Station on the North East Line. The Sengkang Depot has maintenance and train overhaul facilities for trains along the North East Line. In 2010, the government announced that they would be looking to increase the number of trains on the North East Line by 70% within 5 to 6 years to cater to an expected increase in passenger traffic. The new trains will be called Alstom Metropolis C751C.[5][6]

See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


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  2. Travel Time, SBS Transit
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Template:Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore) Template:Singapore railway lines


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