The North South Line (NSL) is the first Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line in Singapore. The line is 45 km long with 26 stations, including the upcoming North South Line Extension, slated to be completed by 2014. Traveling from one end of this line to the other end takes about one hour, and this line is coloured red on the rail map.

As the name implies, the line connects central Singapore to both northern and southern parts of the island. Cross-platform interchange with the East West Line is provided at Jurong East, City Hall and Raffles Place while transfer to the North East Line is possible via a linkway at Dhoby Ghaut. Connections to the Circle Line are provided at Bishan, Dhoby Ghaut and Marina Bay and a linkway via Esplanade. The North South Line will interchange with a future extension of the Downtown Line at Newton and with the future Thomson Line at Woodlands, Orchard and Marina Bay.


As the name implies, the line connects central Singapore to both northern and southern parts of the island. Not everybody takes the long journey of the line from Jurong East to either Marina Bay and Marina South Pier.

The North South Line starts at the Jurong East, where it interchanges with the East West Line from the Platform D & E, that is only operational all the time, whereas for the Platform A & B, it is operational during peak periods. It merges into the assigned direction, just between Jurong East Street 21 and Jurong East Avenue 1. Then, the train goes all the way to Bukit Batok, and after that it emerges into the short tunnel at the hilltop, and subsequently it goes into the Bukit Gombak. After that it goes all the way to Choa Chu Kang, and crosses through Brickland Road and the short underpass at Choa Chu Kang Avenue 1. The name is originally coined from the Branch Line.

The Woodlands Extension extends from Choa Chu Kang and goes all the way to Kranji. After that, it had a short underpass that had to cross through the Woodlands Avenue 3 with the exception of the short open air section while still retaining tunnel walls. After that it goes all the way to Marsiling, and it elevates through towards Yishun. From here it had their middle tracks at Woodlands and Yishun.

The original North South Line starts from Yishun, and goes all the way to Khatib, and then after that it descends through the Lentor Avenue, and emerges again into the Yio Chu Kang. After that it descends into the surface, and eventually it will go into Ang Mo Kio, where the level 1 remains as a storeroom access that is only accessible from the paid areas of Ang Mo Kio. After that it descends into Bishan, where it interchanges with the Circle Line, and the platforms are at the basement 1, the only station in the NSEWL that had the concourse level on the ground floor. After that, it goes all the way to Braddell, where the curvature is different including Toa Payoh, and after that it will pass through the Orchard Road area. Cross-platform interchange with the East West Line is only possible again at City Hall and Raffles Place. After that, few trains and on several days, it will terminate at Marina Bay, the other trains will terminate at Marina South Pier.

In addition, it also takes commuters to various places (such as Orchard Road), schools (such as Republic Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic) and attractions (such as Singapore Zoo and Sungei Buloh Nature Reserve). It is the only line between the northern side of Singapore and the city, before the Thomson-East Coast Line and Downtown Line opens in 2016 and by 2020 respectively.


Initial systemEdit

The North South line was the first MRT line in Singapore, with the first section from Yio Chu Kang to Toa Payoh opening on 7 November 1987. Nine more stations from Novena to Outram Park followed on 12 December 1987, with through service onto what is today the East West Line. The northern terminal was extended to Yishun on 20 December 1988 when Yishun and Khatib stations opened. Separate operation of the North South and East West Lines only started on 4 November 1989, when the extension to Marina Bay was opened.

Second phase of development (Woodlands Extension)Edit

After the Branch Line opened in 1990, the Woodlands Extension MRT line was envisioned to close the gap between Yishun and Choa Chu Kang. During the initial planning of the line, Sembawang station was only intended as a provisional station to be built at a later date due to the underdevelopment of the town and Kranji station was not planned. But on the second round of planning, the government decided to build these station and omit Sungei Kadut station from the plan. Sungei Kadut station will be built later if the town's population justifies the necessity for the station. With the completion of the Woodlands Extension in 1996, the Branch Line became part of the North South Line and ceased to exist.

Jurong East Modification Project (JEMP)Edit

The Jurong East Modification Project consisted of the construction of a new platform and the addition of a fourth track to Jurong East Station.[1] It has been in use since 27 May 2011.[2] The North South Line currently utilises the new track and platform during the weekday morning peak hours from 7am to 9am only. From 27 December 2011, the platform and track will be utilised during the weekday evening peak hours.[3] The new track and platform allows trains to be run at a higher frequency during weekday peak hours. Waiting time is now reduced from 4.5 minutes to 2.5 minutes. Along with the new platform and tracks, 22 Kawasaki Heavy Industries C151A trains will be added to the fleet to reduce waiting time and increase train frequencies. All 22 trains are in service as of February 2012.[4]

North South Line Extension (NSLe)Edit

A 1 km one station extension from Marina Bay which is completed on 23 November 2014, one year earlier than planned. The new Marina South Pier will be located near the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore in Marina Bay. The then Minister for Transport, Raymond Lim, announced on 12 February 2009 that the completion date for the extension, initially due for completion in 2015, will be brought forward by a year to 2014.

Canberra stationEdit

Main article: Canberra MRT Station

On 27 April 2015, construction started on Canberra Station (NS 12) which will be built along an operational section of the line and costing S$90 million.[5] Similar to Dover Station, the station platform will be of an elevated side platform layout. Construction is expected to be completed by 2019 to serve the upcoming developments near the station.[6]

Resignalling worksEdit

A new signalling system, supplied by Thales, will replace the current ageing signalling system on the North South Line.Upgrading works on the signalling system for NSEW Line will be completed in phases from 2016. Commuters on the North-South Line can expect shorter waiting times as the upgraded signalling system allows trains to run in shorter intervals.[7] The new system is expected to be operational from mid-March 2017. MRT trains are also progressively being retrofitted with new equipment on board to be compatible with the new signalling system.

The new signalling system was tested in the evening of 28 March 2017, when train services were paused to facilitate the testing from Marina Bay to Yishun. Trials of the new system had been ongoing during off-service hours since August 2016.[8] From 16 April 2017, the new system will commence full-day testing on Sundays for two months, along with the commencing of operations of the new C151B rolling stock on these testing days.[9]

Half-height platform screen door installationsEdit

There were calls for platform screen doors to be installed at above-ground stations after several incidents in which passengers were killed by oncoming trains when they fell onto the railway tracks at above-ground stations. Underground stations already featured the doors since 1987. The authorities initially rejected the proposal by casting doubts over functionality and concerns about the high installation costs,[10] but made an about-turn when the government announced plans to install half-height platform screen doors on the above-ground stations in January 2008, citing lower costs due to it becoming a more common feature worldwide.[11] They were first installed at Jurong East, Pasir Ris and Yishun stations in 2009 as trial runs.[12]

By 14 March 2012, all above-ground stations have been retrofitted with the doors and are operational.[13]

Line disruptionsEdit

On 15 December 2011, services between Bishan and Marina Bay stations were suspended due to 40 metres of the power rail being damaged between City Hall and Dhoby Ghaut stations. Trains along the stretch were stalled, causing a disruption to the train service for almost 5 hours. Train service fully resume at 11.40pm.[14][15]

On 17 December 2011, a similar fault caused a 7-hour disruption between Ang Mo Kio and Marina Bay stations.[16][17] According to SMRT, the disruption was caused by damage to the third rail and the trains' collector shoes. Seven trains were damaged in this incident.[18]

These two service disruptions on the North-South Line were the worst ever since SMRT started operation for 24 years.[19]


Station Name Interchange/Notes
Jurong EastEast West Line
Bukit Batok 
Bukit Gombak 
Choa Chu KangBukit Panjang LRT
Yew Tee 
Sungei KadutReserved station
WoodlandsThomson Line (under construction)
CanberraUnder construction
Yio Chu Kang 
Ang Mo Kio 
BishanCircle Line
Toa Payoh
NewtonDowntown Line
SomersetThomson Line (under construction)
Dhoby GhautNorth East Line
Circle Line
City HallEast West Line
Raffles PlaceEast West Line
Marina BayCircle Line
Thomson Line (under construction)
Marina South Pier

Train services heading towards Jurong East will either terminate at platform A or D/E. Withdrawal train will terminate at platform C instead.

Some late night train bound starting from either Marina Bay or Marina South Pier will end at Ang Mo Kio before heading back to Bishan Depot.

Some train that start from Marina Bay or Marina South Pier will terminate at Yishun during peak hours and late evening hours until 11.30pm.

After the last train to Jurong East is departed from Marina Bay, train service to Ang Mo Kio as a SWT will operate from Marina South Pier as a last train, DNB train will terminate at Marina South Pier and do overnight parking there, last Kranji bound train will start from Marina Bay.

Rolling stockEdit

Trains operating on the line are C151, C651, C751B, C151A and C151Bs. These trains operates from the Bishan Depot which serves maintenance and train overhaul facilities for trains along the North South Line. The trains can also crossover to the East West Line as both the North South Line and East West Line are built as one system operating two different lines at both Jurong East and Raffles Place.

Train controlEdit

The North South Line is equipped with Thales SelTrac CBTC moving-block signalling system with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 2 (STO)[20] . The subsystems consist of Automatic train protection (ATP) to govern train speed, NetTrac MT Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) to track and schedule trains and a Computer-based interlocking (CBI) system that prevents incorrect signal and track points to be set. Previously, it was equipped with Westinghouse fixed block signalling system with Automatic train control with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 2 (STO). These were eventually phased out on 29 May 2017.

Automatic platform screen doors by Westinghouse were originally installed when the line opened and Automatic Platform Screen Gates were installed at a later date on elevated stations.

External linksEdit


Template:Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore) Template:Singapore railway lines

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