Downtown MRT station, one of the 34 stations on the line.
|Native name||Malay: Laluan MRT Pusat Bandar|
Tamil: டவுன்டவுன் எம்ஆர்டி வழி
|System||Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)|
|Status||Operational (Stages 1, 2 & 3)|
Under construction (Stage 3e)
Under planning (Hume, Stage 2 extension)
Sungei Kadut (mid-2030s)
Sungei Bedok (2024)
|Stations||34 (Operational) |
2 (Under construction)
3 (Under planning)
|Daily ridership||470,000 (Q1 2018)|
|Planned opening||2024 (Stage 3e) |
mid-2030s (Stage 2 extension)
|Opened||22 December 2013 (Stage 1)|
27 December 2015 (Stage 2)
21 October 2017 (Stage 3)
|Owner||Land Transport Authority|
|Operator(s)||SBS Transit DTL (ComfortDelGro Corporation)|
East Coast (Future)
|Line length||41.9 km (26.0 mi) (Operational)|
2.2 km (1.4 mi) (Under construction)
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||750 V DC Third rail|
|Operating speed||limit of 80 km/h|
The Downtown Line (DTL) is a medium-capacity Mass Rapid Transit line in Singapore. It is operated by SBS Transit, which is a subsidiary of ComfortDelGro Corporation. It currently runs from Bukit Panjang in the north-west to Expo in the east. The line is 41.9 kilometres (26.0 mi) 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 Sungei Bedok, is under construction and will be completed in 2024, and Hume MRT station is planned to open in 2025. An extension to Sungei Kadut MRT station is also under planning. 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 44 kilometres (27 mi) 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. However, all of these titles will be taken by the Cross Island Line when all of its stages and extensions finish in 2031.
The Downtown line begins in Bukit Panjang, and then goes through the ‘school district’ and food enclaves of Bukit Timah before entering the central area, passing through Little India before reaching the Central Business District via Bugis, Chinatown and Fort Canning. After intersecting itself, it goes to Geylang Bahru and MacPherson.
Background and inception
During the official opening of the Dover MRT station on 23 October 2001, then-Minister for Communications and Information Technology Yeo Cheow Tong announced that there will be three MRT lines, two of which ― the Bukit Timah Line and the Eastern Region Line ― will form today's Downtown Line. The Bukit Timah Line then aimed to alleviate the traffic problems along the Bukit Timah and Dunearn Road coridoor, and providing a direct link to the city area for residents in Choa Chu Kang and Bukit Panjang. The proposed Eastern Region Line, slated to be a loop in the eastern regions, aimed to relieve the passenger load on the often-congested East West line and benefiting those living in Tampines, Bedok and Marine Parade.:16―17
On 14 June 2005, the Land Transport Authority announced the Downtown Extension (renamed to "Downtown Line Stage 1") to serve the New Downtown at Marina Bay area, where an integrated resort (Marina Bay Sands) and Singapore's second botanical garden (Gardens by the Bay) were to be located. The 3.4-kilometre fully underground line was estimated to cost S$1.4 billion. This is followed by another announcement on 27 April 2007 by then Transport Minister Raymond Lim, where the now-known Downtown line would be done in three stages stretching 40 kilometers with 33 stations..
Construction and opening
– Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, at the official opening of the DTL, on 21 December 2013.
The line was built in 3 stages, as follows:
- Stage 1 of the Downtown line, stretching 4.3-kilometre (2.7 mi), started construction in January 2008 at Chinatown station:30, where platform provisions were built to facilitate an interchange station during the construction of the North East line. It began service on 22 December 2013, with its official inauguration made on the day before by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
- Stage 2 of the Downtown line was first conceptualized and announced as the Bukit Timah line on 23 October 2001. Although planned to terminate at Bugis (and following service 170's route), the Nicoll Highway collapse and subsequent feasibility works deemed Nicoll Highway unusable. The stage is 16.6-kilometre (10.3 mi) long with 12 stations connecting Bukit Panjang and Rochor stations, including four interchange stations. Construction for Stage 2 began on 3 July 2009 with a groundbreaking ceremony at Beauty World station.
- Stage 3 of the Downtown line goes from Chinatown to Expo. The station locations and finalized route were unveiled on 20 August 2010. Stage 3 of the Downtown line is 21-kilometre (13 mi) long and serve 16 stations.
The line, with an estimated cost of S$12 billion, was considered the government's most ambitious rail project. The cost even dwarfed those of the Circle Line (at $6.7 billion) and the North East Line (at $4.6 billion). Final costs of building the line may reach an estimated about S$20.7 billion, up more than 70% from the initial estimation, due to sharp rises in construction costs and a number of changes in plans.:19.
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 one of the main contractors for the DTL2 - Alpine Bau (which was building King Albert Park, Sixth Avenue and Tan Kah Kee)- went bankrupt in mid-2013. On 28 June 2015, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced that the delay was "completely resolved" by the authorities and Stage 2's opening date was reverted to 27 December 2015. The DTL 3 started operations on 21 October 2017, officially opened by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.
To serve the line, the Gali Batu Depot was opened in December 2015 to stable 42 trains. It is situated at part of the former Kwong Hou Sua Teochew Cemetery off Woodlands Road. Also in February that year, the Land Transport Authority announced that the capacity of the depot will be expanded to stable 81 trains by 2019.
On 17 January 2013, plans for a southern extension which will run from Expo through the East Coast area, interchanging with the Thomson–East Coast line were announced for completion by 2024. On 31 May 2017, LTA announced that Stage 3 of the Downtown line will commence operations on 21 October 2017.
DTL3e was announced on 15 August 2014, in conjunction with the announcement of the Thomson–East Coast 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 (1.4 mi) 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.
On 7 March 2019, Hume station was announced to be opened by 2025 to better serve Hillview residents. An additional extension to the Downtown Line was announced on 25 May 2019 by the LTA. The extension will cut down travel time to the downtown area by up to 30 minutes for those living in the north-western area of Singapore. The extension is expected to be completed by the mid-2030s. A study will also be conducted to determine the stops to be added between the future terminus, Sungei Kadut, and the existing Bukit Panjang station.
A malfunction in the platform screen doors at Botanic Gardens resulted in trains bypassing the station and a seven-hour disruption on 3 May 2017. Downtown line operator SBS Transit said that the doors malfunctioned at 5.45am due to a signalling-related fault, and could not open automatically. The fault was rectified at 12.54pm and the platform reopened for passenger service, with the affected door remaining closed for repairs.
Downtown MRT Line
|Station number||Station name||Image||Interchange and notes||Distance (km)
|Sungei Kadut||Interchange with the North South line (mid 2030s)||N/A||N/A|
|Bukit Panjang||Interchange with the Bukit Panjang LRT||0.0||0.0|
|Hume||Infill station (2025)|
|King Albert Park||1.2||5.9|
|Tan Kah Kee||1.3||8.8|
|Botanic Gardens||Interchange with the Circle line||1.1||9.9|
|Stevens||Interchange with the Thomson–East Coast line (2021)||1.1||11|
|Newton||Interchange with the North South line||1.6||12.6|
|Little India||Interchange with the North East line||1.4||14|
|Bugis||Interchange with the East West line||0.8||15.3|
|Promenade||Interchange with the Circle line||0.9||16.2|
|Bayfront||Cross-Platform Interchange with the Circle line extension||1.3||18.4|
|Chinatown||Interchange with the North East line||0.6||20.5|
|MacPherson||Interchange with the Circle line||0.8||28.4|
|Tampines||Interchange with the East West line||1.3||36.6|
|Expo||Interchange with the East West line's Changi Airport branch line||0.9||41.5|
|Downtown line extension (under construction, to be ready by 2024)|
|Sungei Bedok||Interchange with the Thomson–East Coast line (2024)||From Expo
Currently, the Downtown line has one type of rolling stock, the Bombardier MOVIA C951 cars, running in a three-car formation. They are stabled at Gali Batu Depot after it opened with Stage 2 of Downtown line on 27 December 2015. For the period between the operation of Downtown line stage 1 and Downtown line stage 2, trains were stabled at a maintenance facility that was built at Marina Bay as part of the Circle line project. Kim Chuan Depot housed the Operations Control Centre for the Downtown Line Stage 1 until Gali Batu Depot was ready to be used.
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. As of 28 February 2013[update], Bombardier had delivered five of the 11 trains for Downtown line stage 1. 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.
Testing on the Downtown line stage 2 began on 25 October 2015 and rolling stock that was delivered to Gali Batu Depot have commenced service on stage 1 starting on 21 October 2015. Kim Chuan Depot, together with the adjacent Tai Seng Facility Building operated on a minor capacity until Downtown line stage 3 opened. A new depot, named the East Coast Integrated Depot will provide additional stabling capacity to the line in 2024.
Testing on the Downtown line stage 3 began on 15 August 2017, after the late opening of Downtown line from 27 May 2017. Most of the remaining rolling stock entered revenue service progressively from that date onwards. Testing on Downtown line Stage 3 was restricted from Fort Canning to Expo from 19 September 2017.
The Downtown line is equipped with Siemens (previously Invensys before Siemens acquisition) Trainguard Sirius Communications-based train control (CBTC) moving block signalling system with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 4 (UTO). The subsystems consist of Automatic train protection (ATP) to govern train speed, Controlguide Rail 9000 Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) to track and schedule trains and Trackguard Westrace MK2 Computer-based interlocking (CBI) system that prevents incorrect signal and track points to be set.
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.
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