Faster MRT rides on North-South Line by end-April after sleepers replaced

SINGAPORE - Work to replace sleepers on the North-South Line (NSL) will be completed by the end of this month, and commuters can expect faster train rides when speed restrictions are lifted, said the Land Transport Authority and rail operator SMRT in a joint statement today.

During the works, trains had to travel at slower speeds of around 40-60 kmh on some stretches for safety.

With the completion of works, trains will now travel at about 80 kmh, shortening journey times by around 10 to 15 per cent, the statement added.

For example, the ride from Jurong East to Marina Bay will take about 67 minutes, compared to about 77 minutes when speed restrictions were imposed.

With works on the NSL nearing completion, sleeper replacement on the East-West Line (EWL) will start from mid-May this year.

In total, more than 92,000 timber sleepers between Boon Lay and Tiong Bahru, and between Lavender and Pasir Ris, will be replaced with concrete sleepers. Works are expected to be completed by end-2016.

SMRT has started to apply temporary speed restrictions at stretches of the EWL as part of preliminary track works, which will increase total end-to-end travel time by about 10 minutes.

Portable acoustic screens will be installed at work sites to reduce noise, and train services may also end earlier at certain stations on the EWL during the works.

The sleeper replacement programme is part of an effort to improve commuter experience on the two lines.