Bukit Panjang LRT Line


Bukit Panjang LRT Line

Infobox rail line
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type = Light rail
system = Light Rapid Transit (Singapore)
status = Operational
locale =
start = Choa Chu Kang
end = Ten Mile Junction
stations = 14
routes = 2
ridership =
open = 6 November 1999
close =
owner = Land Transport Authority
operator = SMRT Corporation
character =
stock = Bombardier CX-100
linelength = km to mi|num=7.8|abbr=yes|spell=Commonwealth|precision=1|wiki=yes
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el = Third rail
speed =
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map_state = collapsed

Bukit Panjang LRT Line is a 7.8 km light rail line opened on 6th November 1999 and part of Singapore's LRT system. It is fully automated, and the project was contracted to Adtranz, Keppel Corporation and Gammon Construction. The line uses the CX-100 rolling stock supplied by Bombardier, and is similar to the ones used in the Singapore Changi Airport's people mover service during the 90s. It is currently operated by SMRT Light Rail, a subsidiary of SMRT Corporation. A complete loop journey on the line (excluding Ten Mile Junction Station) takes 28 minutes and all stations, except Choa Chu Kang and Ten Mile Junction Stations have two opposing side platforms, like Dover, Braddell and Fernvale Stations.

tations

ervice

There are three services operating along the Bukit Panjang Line. Trains designated on Service A will ply the outer loop (clockwise) via Senja first whereas trains designated on Service B will ply the inner loop (anti-clockwise) via Petir first. Service C runs between Bukit Panjang and Ten Mile Junction. The service frequency for Service C is 20 minutes.

Issues

The operation of the Bukit Panjang LRT has experienced a lot problems. Software glitches during initial running means that there were constant delays in service (On 6th November 1999, the trains were unable to move as planned and frequently halted in between stations.), and were sometimes severe. There have been two serious accidents since its opening:
* In 2000, two LRT trains crashed head-to-back at Phoenix Station causing minor injuries. The operator was fined S$10,000.
* In 2002, a dislodged train wheel caused the entire shutdown of the system for six days, as it crippled the power system and the rail at the incident was damaged and had to be repaired.

There have also been over a hundred disruptions in service which stills continues today, the most recent being on 7 May 2008. The poor operation had no bearing on the operation of the Sengkang LRT Line and Punggol LRT Line being awarded to rival company SBS Transit and rival manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as those contracts were placed pior to Bukit Panjang LRT commencing operation. Most of the problems have been addressed and ironed out since.

The Bukit Panjang LRT was operating at a loss for the first five years. This has raised complaints from the public who argue that the system is a white elephant.

It was also reported that residents were unhappy with the withdrawal of feeder bus services operating in the area since the opening of the Bukit Panjang LRT, and were further aggravated by the unreliability of the service. After lobbying to Members of the Parliament, 2 feeder services, Services 920 and 922, were reinstated.

Future Plans

Plans by the Land Transport Authority have indicated a Mass Rapid Transit Station at Bukit Panjang Station as part of the Downtown MRT Line. When further details were revealed, it disclosed the close proximity of the new MRT station to both Bukit Panjang Station and Ten Mile Junction Station.

External links

* [http://www.smrt.com.sg/ SMRT Homepage]


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