Circle MRT Line



The Circle Line is coloured orange on system maps.

Type Rapid transit
System Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)
Status Operational
Termini Dhoby Ghaut

HarbourFront Marina Bay

Stations 31
Services 3
Opened 28 May 2009 (Stage 3)

17 April 2010 (Stage 1 and 2) 8 October 2011 (Stage 4 and 5, except Bukit Brown) January 2012 (Marina Bay Extension)

Owner Land Transport Authority
Operator(s) SMRT Trains
Rolling stock Alstom Metropolis C830
Line length 35.7 km (22.2 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)Standard gauge
Electrification Third rail

The Circle Line (CCL) is Singapore's fourth Mass Rapid Transit line, operated by SMRT Corporation. This underground line is currently 35.7 kilometres (22.2 mi) long with 28 stations (excluding Bukit Brown) and is fully automatically operated.[1] It takes about a hour to travel from one end to the other and is coloured orange on the rail map.

As the name implies, the line is an orbital line linking all radial lines leading to the city, and also covering many parts of the Central Area. It will also include a branch line beginning at Promenade Station and ending at Marina Bay Station. Transfers to the North South Line will be provided at Bishan, Dhoby Ghaut and Marina Bay stations, East West Line at Paya Lebar andBuona Vista stations, and North East Line at Dhoby Ghaut, Serangoon and HarbourFrontstations. The future Downtown Line will interchange with the Circle Line at Bayfront,Promenade, Botanic Gardens and MacPherson stations.

The Circle Line is the first medium capacity line in Singapore. As a medium capacity line, each Circle Line train has only three cars instead of the six-car configuration as seen on current MRT lines. The rolling stock consists of forty Alstom Metropolis C830 trains. When complete, half a million people are expected to use the Circle Line each day. The completed line will reduce travelling time for commuters by allowing them to shorten trips between north to east or north to west and vice versa, bypassing busy interchange like City Hall and Raffles Place.

Currently, the Circle Line is not a full circle yet, as there will be no through service on the section between Harbourfront and Marina Bay or Dhoby Ghaut. Passengers will need to transfer onto the North East Line instead. However, a branch passing through the Marina District has been built, and a "Stage 6" that would complete the circle, has been mooted but is not officially planned.[2]

Like the North East Line, the Circle Line features the Art in Transit programme. This consists of artwork that is integrated into station designs as well as "Art Seats". Also part of the LTA's Art in Transit programme were open architectural competitions for two Circle Line stations,Stadium, and Bras Basah, both of which were awarded to WOHA Architects.


Plans for the Circle Line date back to the 1980s. The then Minister for Communications and Information, Dr Yeo Ning Hong stated that such a system "would be feasible when the population reaches four million".

In the 1990s, the Circle Line was first known as the Marina Line. The Marina Line was initially planned as a 12-station underground line, starting from Chinatownand Dhoby Ghaut via the National Stadium to either Kallang or Paya Lebar station. However, the Chinatown leg was later truncated and was reduced to 6 stations up to Stadium station. On the other hand, a further extension towards Upper Paya Lebar was added. Eventually, the Marina Line ended up as an inner circular line. Stations in Circle Line that were a part of the original Marina Line plans include Dhoby Ghaut, Bras Basah, Esplanade, Promenade, Nicoll Highway and Stadium. Also, the part of the Marina Line from Chinatown Station to Promenade Station is now part of the Downtown Line.

Originally scheduled to be opened from 2006 and fully opened in 2010, with an estimated cost of S$6.7 billion, the Nicoll Highway collapse caused the construction of the line to be delayed. As a result, the opening of the Circle Line was delayed to 2009, with full opening by 2011 (excluding the Marina Bay Extension), at an escalated cost of nearly S$10 billion.[3] Due to the re-alignment of the Nicoll Highway Station to a new location, the station is only two-thirds the size of the original plan before the collapse, and located 100 metres (330 ft) away from the highway collapse site.[4] The decision was also made to open both Caldecott, and Haw Par Villa stations (previously Thomson and West Coast), initially planned as shell stations, together with the whole line, leaving only Bukit Brown Station closed.

Stage 3, a 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) five-station segment stretching from Bartley to Marymount, was the first section of the line opened, on May 28, 2009. Ridership on this section has been considerably lower than estimated, at 32,000 passengers per day (ppd) instead of the expected 55,000 ppd.[5] Tunneling works for the entire line were completed on August 17, 2009.[6] Stages 1 and 2 started operations on April 17, 2010,[7] and Stages 4 and 5 on October 8, 2011.[8]

  • 28 May 2009: Stage 3 (Bartley - Marymount) opened
  • 17 April 2010: Stage 1 and 2 (Dhoby Ghaut - Bartley) opened
  • 8 October 2011: Stage 4 and 5 (Marymount - HarbourFront) opened

[edit]Future extensionsModifier

On April 27, 2007, the LTA announced a new branch line from Promenade to Bayfront station,[9] with a further extension of the line from Bayfront Station to Marina Bay Station announced a year later. On October 3, 2011, Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced that the Marina Bay Extension will open in January 2012.

The Circle Line is widely expected to have a Stage 6 which completes the circle from HarbourFront to Marina Bay stations. Several options have been mooted for closing the 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) gap, primarily a northern route through the existing Tanjong Pagar Station or a southern route passing through the Port of Singapore's Tanjong Pagar dock area, whose lease expires in 2027. The cost of closing the gap has been estimated to be at S$1.5 to 2.0 billion at 2010 prices.


Several accidents occurred during the construction of the Circle Line, most notably the Nicoll Highway collapse, which occurred on April 20, 2004.

[edit]Nicoll Highway collapseModifier

Main article: Nicoll Highway collapseOn April 20, 2004, a section of the tunnel being built for the Circle Line collapsed, apparently when a retaining wall used in the tunnel's construction gave way. This occurred near what was planned to become the Nicoll Highway Station on the Circle line, not far from the Merdeka Bridge. The accident left a collapse zone 150 metres (490 ft) wide, 100 metres (330 ft) long, and 30 metres (98 ft) deep. Four workers were killed, with three more injured.

A criminal inquiry found the main contractor Nishimatsu Construction Company and joint venture partner firm Lum Chang Construction Company and their officers, as well as key Land Transport Authority officers responsible for the collapse. Several other officers and subcontractors were reprimanded and issued warnings in connection with the accident.

As a result of this accident, the first phase of the Circle Line, previously scheduled to open in 2008, was completed in 2010 instead. The affected station has been shifted about 100 metres (330 ft) away from the accident site and is now located at Republic Avenue.

This accident had also resulted in stricter safety regulations for the construction of all future MRT lines. The shifting of the Nicoll Highway Station also meant it can no longer serve as a terminus for the Bukit Timah Line, partially influencing the creation of the current Downtown Line.

[edit]Other incidentsModifier

On August 16, 2007, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) issued a stop-work order and revoked the contractor's tunnelling permit after a 7 metres (23 ft) stretch of two lanes sank about 20 centimetres (7.9 in), close to the junction of Telok Blangah Road and Alexandra Road in the evening, resulting in a halting of tunnelling works.[10]

A section of the road above a construction site near Holland Road caved in on the morning of May 24, 2008, creating a massive hole. The hole, directly in front of two private houses along Cornwall Gardens Road, measured 8 by 7 metres and was 3 metres deep. No one was injured, but the road was temporarily closed to traffic.[11]


On 20 September 2011, a power fault disrupted train services on all 16 stations on the Circle Line. The four hours delay left thousand of commuters stranded during rush-hour. It was reported that leaks and a damaged cable along the Circle Line were the caused of the disruption.[12] The disruption started at about 5.30am. Train services were gradually restored from 8am and all services were restored just before 10am. Dakota and Mountbatten stations were the last two to resume operations.[13] Investigations were carried out. It was later found that a faulty cable beneath the platform level at Dakota Station caused a power fault on Tuesday morning that affected train services at all 16 stations on the Circle Line.[14] 27,000 passengers were affected by the disruption during the four hours delay, with bus bridging services plying the Circle Line route.[15] The latest disruption occurred on 17 October 2011. At about 8.36am, a train heading from Labrador Park Station toPasir Panjang Station experienced a train fault and had to be taken out of service. Announcements were made in the affected stations, while bus bridging services were provided plying the affected section of the Circle Line. Normal train services resumed at 11.12am.


[2][3]View of underground platform at Bishan Station of the Circle Line from ground level (when under construction). This station interchanges with Bishan Station on theNorth South Line[4][5]A view from the platform of Bartley Station. Here, an Alstom Metropolis C830(rolling stock for the Circle Line) is parked in the station.Main article: List of Circle MRT Line station names

Station Number Station Name Interchange
CC1 / NS24 / NE6 Dhoby Ghaut North South Line, North East Line
CC2 Bras Basah
CC3 Esplanade
CC4 / DT15 Promenade Downtown Line and Marina Bay Extension
CC5 Nicoll Highway
CC6 Stadium
CC7 Mountbatten
CC8 Dakota
CC9 / EW8 Paya Lebar East West Line
CC10 / DT26 MacPherson Downtown Line
CC11 Tai Seng
CC12 Bartley
CC13 / NE12 Serangoon North East Line
CC14 Lorong Chuan
CC15 / NS17 Bishan North South Line
CC16 Marymount
CC17 Caldecott
CC18 Bukit Brown (Unopened)
CC19 / DT9 Botanic Gardens Downtown Line (U/C)
CC20 Farrer Road
CC21 Holland Village
CC22 / EW21 Buona Vista East West Line
CC23 one-north
CC24 Kent Ridge
CC25 Haw Par Villa
CC26 Pasir Panjang
CC27 Labrador Park
CC28 Telok Blangah
CC29 / NE1 HarbourFront North East Line

[edit]Marina Bay ExtensionModifier

Station Number Station Name Interchange
CC4 / DT15 Promenade Circle Line, Downtown Line
CE1 / DT16 Bayfront Downtown Line
CE2 / NS27 Marina Bay North South Line

The rolling stock consists of Alstom Metropolis C830 trains.

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