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Why Are Trains Moving Slower After Raffles Place MRT Station on the East-West Line?

MRT tunnel with tunnel lights switched on. (File Photo: SGTrains)

MRT tunnel with tunnel lights switched on. (File Photo: SGTrains)

Are you travelling between Raffles Place MRT station and City Hall MRT station on the East-West Line (EWL) towards the east?

If so, you might have noticed that your travelling time may have increased by a bit. It is not caused by a train breakdown or a train disruption, don’t worry!

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Track Improvement Works on the East-West Line

EW 14 Raffles Place MRT station

SMRT said in a Facebook post on Dec 14, 2021, that it will carry out track improvement works during engineering hours along a ‘short stretch’ of the EWL eastbound tunnel after Raffles Place MRT station.

Despite the need for a speed restriction along the affected stretch, it estimates the added travelling time to not exceed over a minute.

#1 Why is the speed restriction needed?

Several parts of the existing concrete trackbed that supports the running rails are needed to be replaced, the rail operator said.

As such, when fresh concrete is cast onto the trackbed during engineering hours, it requires several hours for it to cure and reach full strength.

With that, during operating hours, speed restrictions are imposed through the signalling system whilst trains travel automatically over an 80-metre stretch between Raffles Place MRT station and City Hall MRT station.

To get a better idea, a typical six-carriage MRT train is roughly around 140-metres in length.

#2 When will the track improvement works be completed?

SMRT said that works are expected to be completed by Mar 31, 2022, and the speed restrictions would have been lifted then.

“We thank commuters travelling on the east-bound EWL for their patience and understanding during this period,” it added.

Similar Occurrence Happened in 2018

Raffles Place MRT station platform for the North-South Line. (File Photo: SGTrains)

Raffles Place MRT station platform for the North-South Line. (File Photo: SGTrains)

This track improvement works leading to a speed restriction during operating hours not a unique one per se.

In 2018, the rail operator mentioned the requirement of an additional 15 minutes travelling time on the North-South Line (NSL) southbound tunnel near Raffles Place MRT station.

It mentioned that track improvement works were also being carried out and sought understanding from commuters “as we improve the infrastructure in our network.”

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Check Out Other Related Posts

Removal of tracks to Marina Bay Temporary Maintenance Facility

Communications Systems for Older Train Lines To Be Upgraded

3 MRT Lines To Have New Fare Collection Gates by July 2026


Related Links
East-West Line – SGTrains
North-South Line – SGTrains
Train Service Status – SGTrains
Signalling System – SGTrains

External Links
“From 21 December 2021, SMRT will carry out track improvement works during engineering hours along a short stretch of the East-West Line’s (EWL) east-bound tunnel after Raffles Place station.” – SMRT/Facebook [Accessed 21 Dec 2021]
“Since January 2018, SMRT has been carrying out track improvement works during engineering hours in the North-South Line (NSL) southbound tunnel near Raffles Place MRT Station.” – SMRT/Facebook [Accessed 21 Dec 2021]

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Loh

I'm a train enthusiast who is broadly interested in the different means of technology which powers Singapore's train network.