Were you part of a lucky group of Primary 5 students who were selected to take an MRT train to catch the National Day Parade (NDP) as part of a National Education (NE) Show?
If you were, there had been a lot of thought and preparation to plan and efficiently ferry many groups of students to the Floating Platform/Padang.
Here’s what goes into it!
1. Transport Requirements for Schools are Worked Out
The NDP spectator team will liaise with the Ministry of Education (MOE) on the transport requirements for each school.
Following that, schools are allocated into their NE Show dates.
With certain schools located close to an MRT station, they will be allocated a chartered MRT train to and fro the parade venue.
2. Chartered MRT Trains are Allocated for Primary Schools
The rail operator will then allocate special chartered MRT trains between regular service MRT trains.
These chartered MRT trains will stop at MRT stations near both the primary schools and the parade venue.
Army personnel from the NDP spectator team will liaise with the staff of the MRT station and coordinate the timings to escort the students from the school to the station.
Thereby, they will be held at a waiting area on the station platform prior to the arrival of the chartered MRT train.
A chartered train may carry two to three primary schools, and thus to prevent mixing the groups up, each group will have an allocated boarding door.
3. Arrival at the Parade Venue
Upon arrival at the MRT station near the parade venue, the students will disembark from the MRT train.
Before proceeding to the parade venue on foot, students will be held at the station platform for a headcount.
4. Departure from the Parade Venue
When the NE Show is over, the students will be escorted back to the station by the army personnel.
They will board another chartered MRT train back to their respective MRT stations near the primary schools.
Chartered MRT Trains Not Unique to National Day Parade
According to an article by The Straits Times in 2014, Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) had chartered five MRT trains to the National Stadium.
The vice-president of corporate information and communications for rail operator SMRT mentioned that they had “worked with schools in the past to charter trains and transport students for large-scale events such as the National Day Parade rehearsals.”
“Chartered trains run between normal train services and strictly within off-peak hours only. SMRT assures passengers that train intervals are maintained at normal service levels at all times,” he added.
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SMRT C651 [223/224] at Novena (NE Show Shuttle) – willischong Video Productions/YouTube [Accessed 06 Aug 2021]
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Photo credits to willischong Video Productions/YouTube and The Straits Times.