North East MRT Line

东北地铁线 வடக்கு கிழக்கு எம்ஆர்டி வழி


The North East Line is coloured purple on system maps.

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


Stations 16
Services 1
Opened 20 June 2003 (except Woodleigh and Buangkok)15 January 2006 (Buangkok)20 June 2011 (Woodleigh)
Owner Land Transport Authority
Operator(s) SBS Transit
Rolling stock Alstom Metropolis C751A
Line length 20 km (12 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)Standard gauge
Electrification Overhead catenary

The North East MRT Line (NEL) is the third Mass Rapid Transit line in Singapore and the world's second longest fully underground, automated and driverless, rapid transit line after Singapore'sCircle MRT Line.[1] The line is 20 km long with 16 stations and operated by SBS Transit. Travelling from one end of this line to the other end takes 32 minutes.[2] This line is coloured purple in the rail map.

As the name implies, the line connects central Singapore to the north-eastern part of the island. Transfer to the North South Line is provided at Dhoby Ghaut station, East West Line at Outram Park station and Circle Line at Serangoon, Dhoby Ghaut and HarbourFront stations. The future Downtown Line will interchange with the North East Line at Chinatown and Little India stations. This line is the first in Singapore to be entirely underground.

The North East Line is the first line in Singapore to have artwork integrated into all its 16 stations under the Art in Transit programme. Other than the Art in Transit programme, the interior architecture for the stations are typical of the design of the early 2000s with lots of white, glass and steel.This kind of design can be seen in other subway stations built during this period like theShenzhen Metro and Hong Kong MTR's Tseung Kwan O line.

Presently, trains operate at two-minute frequencies during peak hours, five-minute frequencies during mid-day service and six-minute frequencies in the early morning and night times.


[2][3]Buangkok MRT Station exteriorThe Land Transport Authority received approval for the construction of the North East Line on 16 January 1996. French company Alstom was chosen as the main contractor and manager of the project. The operating license was given to new rail operator SBS Transit in order to foster competition with SMRT Corporation.

In the initial stages of planning, Outram Park Station was initially planned to be the southern terminus of the North East Line. However, in 1993, the Land Transport Authority decided to extend the line southwards to HarbourFront MRT Station, after noting that many people liked to go to the World Trade Centre (the present day HarbourFront Centre).

The line was scheduled for completion in 2002, but due to various problems in the automation, the opening was repeatedly delayed. It was finally opened on 20 June 2003, with higher fares than existing lines supposedly to compensate for the heavy construction costs (S$4.6 billion).

At the time that the line was opened, all of the stations were operating except Buangkok and Woodleigh. SBS Transit announced that these would open only when there was a critical mass of passengers in those areas. With respect to Buangkok, which had already been fully built, the company claimed that the projected number of passengers was too low to cover operating costs. Constant public pressure, notably the "White Elephant" incident and subsequent media attention, forced it to review the situation and the station duly opened on 15 January 2006. As expected, Buangkok station's first-week ridership was the lowest on the NEL and does not cover operating costs.[citation needed] The last station on the line, Woodleigh, opened on 20 June 2011 in anticipation of a American International School which is under construction in the vicinity of the station that is slated to open in 2012.[3]

The North-East Line's numbering scheme reserves station code "NE2" between HarbourFront (NE1) and Outram Park (NE3). As of 2009, the LTA has not announced any details of any future station here.


Station Number Station Name Interchange
NE1 / CC29 HarbourFront Circle Line
NE3 / EW16 Outram Park East West Line
NE4 / DT19 Chinatown Downtown Line (U/C)
NE5 Clarke Quay
NE6 / NS24 / CC1 Dhoby Ghaut North South Line, Circle Line
NE7 / DT12 Little India Downtown Line (U/C)
NE8 Farrer Park
NE9 Boon Keng
NE10 Potong Pasir
NE11 Woodleigh
NE12 / CC13 Serangoon Circle Line
NE13 Kovan
NE14 Hougang
NE15 Buangkok
NE16 / STC Sengkang Sengkang LRT
NE17 / PTC Punggol Punggol LRT

Since the North East Line is part of SBS Transit, it has its own trains. The train use is an Alston C751A Metropolis train.

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