5 NEL stations to close earlier on Fridays, Saturdays in July

Commuters travelling between Serangoon and Punggol stations can switch to shuttle bus service, Shuttle 21, which will stop at designated bus stops or interchanges near affected stations.
Commuters travelling between Serangoon and Punggol stations can switch to shuttle bus service, Shuttle 21, which will stop at designated bus stops or interchanges near affected stations.PHOTO: ST FILE

Five stations along the North East Line (NEL) will close earlier on Fridays and Saturdays next month to facilitate maintenance and renewal works.

Rail operator SBS Transit (SBST) said yesterday that the stations from Punggol to Kovan will close earlier around 11pm on the affected days. It said: "Maintenance works on parts of the power system and the platform screen doors, as well as track replacements, will be undertaken."

Commuters travelling between Serangoon and Punggol stations can opt to switch to a dedicated shuttle bus service, Shuttle 21, which will arrive every one to five minutes and stop at designated bus stops or interchanges near affected stations.

The fares for Shuttle 21 will follow the same fare structure as the trains.

Train services for the rest of the NEL ( between Serangoon and HarbourFront stations) will continue to operate, but at longer, nine-minute intervals on days of early closures.

Services for southbound trains heading from Serangoon towards HarbourFront will be extended to 12.15am to facilitate "outward connectivity", said SBST, while Light Rail Transit services will be extended to 1.10am in Sengkang and 1.15am in Punggol. The operating hours of bus service 325 will also be extended, with its last bus departing Hougang Central Bus Interchange at 12.50am.

SBST said commuters should plan ahead by checking the timings at affected MRT stations, as last train timings vary for each station. The timings will also be available on SBST's website and social media platforms.

 
 
 

"Commuters should also cater for additional travel time when travelling between affected stations using the shuttle service," SBST said.

The operator will put up publicity posters and make announcements at MRT stations to inform commuters of the maintenance works. Ground staff will also be deployed on affected dates to guide commuters.

The works are part of a major renewal project on the NEL to upgrade its trains, track components, and power and signalling systems.

Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary said in March that early closures on Fridays and Saturdays had allowed maintenance to be stepped up for the NEL.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2019, with the headline '5 NEL stations to close earlier on Fridays, Saturdays in July'. Print Edition | Subscribe