Safety first as work starts on new Canberra MRT station on 'live' North-South Line

An artist’s impression of the new Canberra MRT station on the North-South Line.
An artist’s impression of the new Canberra MRT station on the North-South Line. PHOTO: LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY

SINGAPORE -Stringent safety measures will be imposed as work starts on the new Canberra MRT station on the North-South Line (NSL), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Saturday (March 26).

Construction on the station, which is being built on a 'live' railway track, is expected to be completed in 2019.

Measures to be taken include detailed risk assessments, confining critical works to when trains are not running, and using a full-scale mock-up to model how some portions of the station should be constructed.

Located between Sembawang and Yishun stations, the station will serve nearby estates such as Sembawang Springs, as well as upcoming residential developments, LTA said.


Location map of Canberra station SOURCE: LTA

Commuters travelling towards the city centre or Jurong East can expect to save up to 10 minutes of travelling time.

Canberra is the second MRT station in Singapore to be built on an existing rail line.

The first was Dover Station on the East-West Line, which opened in 2001.

The contract for the station was awarded to China State Construction Engineering Corporation Limited (Singapore) in mid-2015.

Building a station on an operational line presents challenges, said LTA.

"We have enhanced the work processes used previously for the construction of the Dover station," LTA said in its statement.

This includes implementing a robust project safety review process for the design and construction phases, and carrying out detailed risk assessments for Canberra station.

In addition, major safety critical works next to the existing tracks are confined to the three to four hours when the trains are not running.

LTA and the contractor will impose stringent control on the works being carried out and coordinate with SMRT for access to the work area, the transport authority said.

A full-scale mock-up of the station column and roof will be installed off-site for LTA to determine the safest and most effective way to carry out the actual construction onsite.

To further ensure the safety of the 'live' tracks during construction of the station's roof, a temporary protection enclosure will be erected to protect the existing railway tracks and trains at the site of the new station.

A new 72m long rail crossover track will be constructed north of Canberra Station to connect two existing tracks.

This allows trains to move from one track to the other, providing better operational resilience, LTA said. Noise barriers will also be installed at the new rail crossover.

To better facilitate commuter movement and enhance accessibility, Canberra station is designed with five entrances.

The new station will also have covered linkways to bus stops and bicycle parks.