SINGAPORE: Five MRT stations along the North-South Line (NSL) will be closed for three days in May in a staggered manner to facilitate the construction of the new Canberra station, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Monday (Apr 8) in a news release.
The closure involving Admiralty, Sembawang, Yishun, Khatib and Yio Chu Kang stations is scheduled over the Vesak Day long weekend between May 18 and May 20.
On May 18 and 19, Admiralty and Sembawang stations will be closed to facilitate the removal of existing tracks and installation of the new crossover track, LTA said.
On May 20, all five stations will be closed to carry out testing and commissioning of the signalling software for the newly installed track sectors.
Train services are expected to resume their normal schedules on May 21, LTA added.
Canberra station will be the first station in Singapore to have an above-ground direct entry to a train platform. This will be for city-bound trains.
With 75 per cent of construction complete, LTA said the next step involves connecting the two existing tracks to and from Canberra station with a new 72m crossover track.
LTA said this will "enhance the resilience" of NSL by allowing trains to cross from one track to another.
"If the northbound track is faulty, affected trains can use the crossover to bypass the faulty stretch by travelling on the southbound track. This allows train service for both directions to remain available."
During the planned closures, LTA will provide shuttle bus services between Woodlands and Yishun stations on May 18 and 19, and between Woodlands and Ang Mo Kio stations on May 20.
Concurrently, an express bus service will be provided between Woodlands and Bukit Panjang stations over the three days.
Canberra station is scheduled to be operational in the fourth quarter of this year, LTA said.
NEW STATION WILL REDUCE TRAVELLING TIME: RESIDENTS
Residents around Canberra who CNA spoke to said that the new station will save them between 15 and 20 minutes of travelling time.
A resident who wanted to be known as Mr Tan said that he now has to take a bus to get to either Yishun or Sembawang stations. With the opening of Canberra station, he will no longer have to do so.
On the closure of several stations over the Vesak Day holidays, Mr Tan acknowledged that this will inconvenience him, but has no complaints.
He added that he will rely on the shuttle bus services provided and leave home earlier.
"In the worst case scenario, I will book private-hire car services," he said.
Mr Melcolm Lee, who is expecting his new Build-to-Order flat at Canberra to be ready by end-June, said he is looking forward to the station's opening.
"I will live directly opposite (the station) and this will save me time and cost from taking the feeder bus," the 25-year-old said.
Mr Lee, who currently lives near Admiralty station, said he will factor in extra time when taking the train during the station closures. However, he does not expect significant delays in his commute.
He cited last year's early closures for the upgrading of tracks, when he relied on shuttle buses provided by LTA.
"I will rely on their (LTA's) prompt shuttle bus service. Last year, they also had good crowd management."