SINGAPORE – The new Canberra station, located between Sembawang and Yishun stations on the North-South Line, will open on Nov 2 this year.
Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan made the announcement during a site visit of the station on Monday (May 20) afternoon.
The station, which is only the second to be built on an existing line after Dover station on the East-West Line, is a 10-minute walk away from an estimated 17,000 households in nearby estates such as Sembawang Springs, EastLink I and II @ Canberra and Eastwave @ Canberra.
When it is opened, passengers travelling towards the city or Jurong East will save up to 10 minutes on their daily commute. Mr Khaw had said in May last year that the station would open by December this year.
About 75 per cent of construction works at Canberra station have been completed so far.
Five MRT stations, from Admiralty to Yio Chu Kang, were closed over the Vesak Day long weekend from Saturday to Monday to facilitate the construction of a crossover track near the upcoming station.
The 72m-long crossover track built between Sembawang and Canberra stations will allow trains on the NSL to bypass a faulty stretch of a train track by crossing from the northbound track to the southbound track, or vice versa, when a track fault occurs.
Over the first two days, existing tracks were first isolated from the rail system for the safety of the workers before trackside equipment such as the power rail, track circuits and signalling equipment were removed.
This was followed by the cutting and removal of sections of existing tracks – about 40m long – from the Canberra station platform before the installation of the crossover track.
Train testing and commissioning of the signalling software for the newly installed track sections were then carried out.
The three-day process involved about 110 workers.
Passenger service will go back to normal from Tuesday morning.
With the completion of the new crossover track, there will be more than 50 such tracks on the North-South and East-West lines.
Madam Sarala J. Pillai, 65, retiree said the new station will make it more convenient for her to visit her daughter’s family who lives in Canberra Crescent, whom she visits on weekdays after visiting Tekka Centre.
Currently, a taxi ride costs about $10 per trip for her but soon she will be able to take a train from Little India and then walk about 10 minutes to her daughter’s home.
“MRT is actually faster than taxi because there’s no traffic and no jam,” she said.
The station is one of the most accessible for commuters with five entrances. NSL stations have an average of three entrances at every station.
It is also the first elevated MRT station to provide commuters with direct access to the city-bound train platform via a link bridge across Canberra Link. Covered linkways will also connect the station with bus stops and bicycle parks.
Works on Canberra station began in April 2015. The estimated costs of the project, including the crossover track, is around $90 million.
With the new Canberra station, the NSL will have 27 MRT stations from November, connecting commuters between Jurong East and Marina South Pier stations.
This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.
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