Saturday, October 13, 2012

DTL 1 on track to open by end-2013 as first train arrives


SINGAPORE: The first phase of the Downtown Line (DTL) is on track to open by the end of next year, with the first train delivered to Singapore on Friday.

The three-car train arrived by ship at about 8am at Jurong Port, after a 13-day journey from Changchun, China.

Each car was then put on a trailer -- ready to be transferred to Kim Chuan Depot.

There, the cars will be joined to form the driverless train, which will be tested for reliability.

Land Transport Authority (LTA)'s senior group director for Rail, Sim Wee Meng, said, "When we start our testing on the track itself, of course, we will start with one train first, and then we will test all the signalling system to make sure that it is safe."

He added that two trains would be tested out next, to make sure that the trains are able to communicate correctly, so as to ensure that they have a safe distance between each other.

LTA is expecting another 10 trains for DTL 1, with the second scheduled to reach Singapore at the end of this month.

Unlike the trains on the existing lines, all DTL trains which are made by German manufacturer Bombadier Transportation, will spot the LTA's logo.

The DTL is the first line to be under the new rail financing framework adopted in 2010, where the regulator directly owns all rail operating assets.

The first phase of DTL will have six stations from Bugis to Chinatown.

LTA said the stations for DTL 1 are about 90 per cent complete.

"By March or April next year, the stations should all be fitted out -- the lighting, the air-conditioning system and fire protection system and all these should be ready for testing together with the other systems," elaborated Mr Sim.

The entire DTL is due to be opened in three phases, in 2013, 2015 and 2017 respectively.

When all three phases are completed, the 42-kilometre DTL, which will boost connectivity from northwest Singapore to the central-eastern area, will be the world's longest driverless underground MRT line.

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