Singapore Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) has announced that several MRT stations on the East-West Line (EWL) will close at 11 pm on a few days in April and in early May 2017.
SMRT noted that the early closure of these stations will facilitate track maintenance and renewal work at railway junctions as part of ongoing efforts to renew the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL).
SMRT stated that the early closure of MRT stations between Tanah Merah and Changi Airport, and between Lakeside and Joo Koon, will provide engineering staff additional time to carry out maintenance work to replace rails worn out by wear and tear.
It said that more time is needed as the replacement of the rails at railway junctions, where crossing, switch and running rails are located, is a complex process. By closing stations about an hour earlier each over three days, engineers will double the time available to work on the tracks.
SMRT said that commuters will be informed of alternative routes during the nights of early closure and announcements will be made at train stations and in trains prior to the closure. SMRT station staff will also be on hand to guide commuters.
SMRT advises commuters who used to board trains at the affected stations after 11pm on the EWL to plan their journey and consider alternative transport arrangements, such as bus services to get to their destinations.
SMRT added that it has also arranged for parallel bus services, and more information of these services will be made available within the next few weeks and commuters can refer to SMRT’s social media channels for more information.
SMRT said that the renewal of railway junctions forms part of the ongoing multi-year, multi-project effort to improve the NSEWL, Singapore’s oldest, longest and most heavily-utilised MRT line.
Mr Lee Ling Wee, Managing Director of SMRT Trains, said, “We are confident the renewal of railway junctions, where crossing, switch and running rails are located, will be expedited with additional time gained by closing selected MRT stations earlier. Past occasions that called for early closure or late opening of MRT stations resulted in the successful and timely renewal of ageing track infrastructure.”
“We thank commuters for adjusting their travel schedules to facilitate maintenance and renewal work. Our engineering staff value every minute of track access to carry out their work,” he added.
“We seek the patience and understanding of commuters for this phase of early closure. Another round of early closures can be expected in June this year along other stretches of the NSEWL,” SMRT added.
In just January this year, Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, has officiated the completion of the sleeper replacement programme on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL).
The project took three and a half years to be completed as it began in August 2013. LTA and SMRT embarked on a multi-year project to replace these ageing wooden sleepers with concrete sleepers, along all 200km of tracks on the NSEWL.