SINGAPORE: The Bukit Panjang LRT network will be closed on Sundays next month to facilitate testing works for its new signalling system, said SMRT Trains in a news release on Friday (Sep 18).
The light rail line, which has 13 stations, will be closed on the following Sundays: Oct 4, Oct 11, Oct 18 and Oct 25.
The testing works are part of an overall renewal programme for the ageing Bukit Panjang LRT system, announced by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) in 2018.
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The current fixed block signalling system will be upgraded to a new communications-based train control signalling system, said SMRT.
In 2018, LTA awarded a S$344 million contract to manufacturer Bombardier (Singapore) to renew the Bukit Panjang LRT system, including replacing all 19 Light Rapid Vehicles.
In October last year, LTA said the renewal was on track for completion by 2024.
"The full-Sunday closures will provide more engineering hours for testing of the signalling system software upgrades on the trains and track side equipment," said SMRT Trains in the release.
Train service will operate as usual on the following Mondays, it added.
READ: Increased maintenance works improving reliability of Bukit Panjang LRT: Khaw Boon Wan
During the affected days, a shuttle bus service will travel the Bukit Panjang LRT Loop B route via Petir station to maintain connectivity for affected commuters, said SMRT Trains.
Commuters can also take existing bus services such as 920, 922, 974 and 976 that serve Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang, or both.
"Commuters are advised to plan their journeys ahead of time and to cater for additional travel time when travelling during the affected periods," said SMRT Trains.
Staff members will also be deployed to stations and bus boarding points to provide assistance on the affected Sundays.
Commuters can get updated information on train operation hours and alternative arrangements via the SMRT Trains' website, its Facebook page, Twitter feed as well as the SMRTConnect app.