Woodlands station on Thomson-East Coast Line also serves as civil defence shelter

Left: The civil defence shelter has hardened boundary walls, and floor and roof slabs built from reinforced concrete. Above: Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan at the decontamination chamber of the Woodlands MRT station civil defence shelter yesterday.
Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan at the decontamination chamber of the Woodlands MRT station civil defence shelter yesterday. ST PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN
Left: The civil defence shelter has hardened boundary walls, and floor and roof slabs built from reinforced concrete. Above: Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan at the decontamination chamber of the Woodlands MRT station civil defence shelter yesterday.
The civil defence shelter has hardened boundary walls, and floor and roof slabs built from reinforced concrete. ST PHOTOS: NG SOR LUAN

Besides functioning as an MRT station, the Woodlands station on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) can also be used as a shelter during times of emergency.

Located between Woodlands Square and Woodlands Avenue 2, the station is 330m long, 30m wide and 24m below ground. It can house almost 9,000 people during bomb and chemical attacks, for instance.

As the 49th MRT civil defence shelter, it has hardened boundary walls, and floor and roof slabs built from reinforced concrete. This allows it to withstand blasts and fragmentation effects caused by, say, bombs exploding.

All the openings in the shelter are protected by doors made of either concrete or steel.

Besides these features, the shelter also has an area where people can undergo decontamination procedures, in case of a chemical attack.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said in a statement that during times of emergency, operationally ready national servicemen from its Public Shelter and Resilience Unit will "prepare, convert and manage these public shelters for the protection of the population".

It added that more such shelters will be progressively built in subsequent phases of the TEL and new MRT lines across Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 12, 2020, with the headline 'MRT station also serves as civil defence shelter'. Print Edition | Subscribe