The commuting public would be happy to learn that about 75 per cent of the structural works for Singapore's largest train and bus depot have been completed, and that the facility is slated to be ready in 2025. The East Coast Integrated Depot in Changi South, which is said to be the first in the world to have three train depots and a bus depot located on a single site, demonstrates Singapore's capacity for ambitious planning as well as its ability to carry out massive and crucial infrastructural projects. Construction of the four-in-one facility began in 2016 and was initially scheduled for completion by 2024. The date was pushed back to 2025 because of delays arising from the coronavirus pandemic, but works on the depot are progressing well, according to the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
All this is significant because train depots are critical components of the overall rail system infrastructure. These are the places where maintenance and repair works are carried out and trains are stationed overnight before they move out to serve passengers the following day. Singapore has more than 400 trains in operation, a fleet supported by nine train depots all over the island. Since they take up a lot of space in a land-scarce country, creative solutions are necessary to minimise the increasing need for depot space as the rail system expands.