SINGAPORE - The Bukit Panjang LRT (BPLRT) network will close earlier at 11.30pm daily from Jan 13 to allow engineers to step up maintenance and system renewal works, said train operator SMRT.
Canadian engineering company Bombardier, which is the original equipment manufacturer of the BPLRT, will be carrying out planned renewal works in the first quarter of 2019, SMRT and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said in a statement on Wednesday (Dec 12).
These works include the upgrading of the network's power rails system, replacing the existing signalling system with a new communications-based train control signalling system and replacing all 19 first-generation light rapid vehicles with new and improved ones.
The light rapid vehicles have been in use since the BPLRT service began in 1999.
Bombardier will also be equipping the 13 light rapid vehicles that were put into service in 2015 to expand the BPLRT fleet with the new signalling system.
In addition, the light rapid vehicles and the signalling system will have condition monitoring systems that will allow engineers to detect tail alignment in real time and conduct predictive maintenance.
It was previously reported in March this year that the BPLRT's service C that begins and terminates at Ten Mile Junction station will be permanently closed to facilitate a $344 million project to upgrade the LRT line.
The closure will take place from Jan 13 and the vacated station space will be converted into a stabling and testing ground for the BPLRT's new light rapid vehicles, SMRT said.
The BPLRT network has seen periodic closures and late openings on Sundays since November last year, which have helped to accelerate maintenance works, SMRT added.
LTA chief executive Ngien Hoon Ping said that engineering teams have made use of additional engineering hours in the past year to intensify the replacement of the BPLRT's ageing infrastructure.
He added that the upcoming enhancement works on the BPLRT network will be extensive and aimed at implementing a new signalling system and renewing train cars.
"These are part of our efforts to improve the BPLRT's reliability and commuters' travel experience," he said.
"We are grateful for residents' patience in allowing us this extra time to carry out enhancement works, and seek their understanding as we continue to strive towards more reliable journeys on the BPLRT for all commuters."
SMRT group chief executive officer Neo Kian Hong added that the train operator will be working closely with the LTA and Bombardier to ensure that renewal works are carried out on schedule and safely.
With the change in BPLRT's operating hours, bus services 920, 922, 973 and 974 will run till around 1am to serve commuters within the Bukit Panjang township.
Commuters can also continue to access Junction 10 via the Downtown Line's Bukit Panjang MRT station, Phoenix or Bukit Panjang LRT stations, as well as bus services plying the bus stop opposite Junction 10.
More information on the LRT and bus service timings can be found on the SMRT website and updates will also be available on SMRT's Facebook and Twitter accounts, the statement said.