SINGAPORE: All 35 MRT stations along the East-West Line (EWL) will continue to open later and close earlier for all weekends in April as testing and maintenance works on the rail line continue, train operator SMRT said on Thursday (Mar 22).
The train services along the line - from Tuas Link to Pasir Ris, and from Tanah Merah to Changi Airport - have been ending earlier and starting later on weekends since March. They will continue to close earlier at about 11pm every Friday and Saturday and open later at about 8am every Saturday and Sunday in April, SMRT said.
The extended engineering hours allow more time to run the line fully on the new Communications-Based Train Control signalling system and to test the system’s integration with the North-South Line (NSL), according to SMRT.
"Up to 100 trains have been deployed on both the EWL and NSL on selected nights to stress-test the system. This progressive approach prepares the system for eventual tests during EWL passenger service hours in the coming months," the train operator added.
The additional engineering hours have allowed SMRT to step up maintenance and inspection of the rail network, and enabled it to accelerate improvement works, such as the replacement of track circuits, rail grinding and track tamping, it said.
SMRT has also replaced the existing concrete track bed near Raffles Place MRT station earlier this year, and similar works are being carried out along the stretch between Outram Park and Tiong Bahru MRT stations, it added.
To facilitate these works and as a safety precaution, trains will travel at a slightly lower speed along the affected stretch during the morning peak period, according to SMRT.
SHUTTLE, EXPRESS BUSES TO CONTINUE SERVICES
During the shorter operating hours, six shuttle bus services and four express bus services will continue to run as alternative travel options for commuters along the EWL, SMRT said.
"Commuters are reminded to cater for additional travel time when using the shuttle bus services, while those travelling longer distances may wish to plan their journeys using other operational MRT lines, or seek alternative travel options, for a faster journey," the train operator said in the news release.
Updates on affected train services and alternative transport arrangements will be available on SMRT’s website, as well as through SMRT’s Facebook, Twitter feed and the SMRTConnect app, it added.