Construction of Singapore’s seventh MRT line, the Jurong Region Line (JRL), has officially begun with a groundbreaking and viaduct-launching ceremony held on Friday, Jan 13.
The Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) media release states that the JRL is expected to improve connectivity as well as support the development in the Jurong area when it opens in three stages from 2027 to 2029. All of the 24 stations will be above ground.
The JRL will give commuters “substantial time savings”, said the LTA, with Transport Minister S Iswaran adding that travel time from Choa Chu Kang to the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) will be cut from 60 minutes to 35 minutes.
To accommodate the densely populated corridor and minimise disruption, the LTA has used virtual reality technologies and employed a variety of other high-tech tools prone to the JRL’s construction, including drones and 3D scanners.
In a bid to reduce the JRL’s carbon footprint, solar panels have been fitted to the stations to generate renewable energy and the MRT trains are outfitted with sensors to adjust the lights to the natural light of day. The trains also use regenerative braking systems to power other nearby trains or stations.
In addition to the Tengah estate and Jurong Industrial Estate, the JRL will serve Gek Poh and Pandan Gardens, two residential areas that currently do not have direct access to the MRT.
Though inevitable short-term inconveniences are to be expected during the construction process, the Minister assures the community that strict measures such as vibration and noise limits and works that affect busy roads uncommonly taking place late at night have been implemented.
To meet the anticipated long-term ridership of more than 500,000 per day, JRL train carriages are 0.45m narrower in width and 5m shorter in length Champions Way Condo than those on the Circle Line.
The names and locations of the stations will be revealed at a later date.