Kim Chuan Depot all ready to provide suppport for rail lines

After five years of construction, the Kim Chuan Depot is now ready to provide support for the upcoming Circle and Downtown MRT Lines.

The underground structure will provide stabling of the trains, maintenance and operational control of the two rail lines.

Transport Minister Raymond Lim visited the new facility on Friday, where he announced more rail lines ahead following a review of Singapore’s land transport.

Kim Chuan Depot is Singapore’s first underground depot – in fact, 17 metres down under.

Measuring 11 hectares, or the size of 17 football fields, the depot is also the world’s largest.

The $290 million depot will house several state-of-the-art facilities like its Operation Control Centre which will be manned by nine operators at any one time.

Their role is to supervise the day-to-day operations of the trains and stations.

They can also communicate with passengers onboard trains, monitor CCTV images, or shut down the system if there is an emergency.

Commuters will have a smoother ride too, with the help of what’s called a cripple siding located between the two rail tracks.

Ong Boon Ann, Land Transport Authority’s deputy director for Circle Line Systems, said: “When there’s a defective train, a train that malfunctions, it can be moved to be parked at the cripple siding. This way, it will not impede any on-coming trains.”

Trains will be sent for maintenance at a workshop in the depot, and to facilitate checks, they will be hoisted by a special lifting system, considering that each train comprises three carriages and weighs about 120 tonnes.

The Land Transport Authority says 16 trains have arrived at the depot so far. Another 24 will be delivered by the end of this year, three months earlier than planned. The depot can accommodate 77 trains.

The facility has a 23-metre high automatic storage and retrieval system, a first for a train depot.

The depot also has a central warehouse for the Circle Line, storing three to five years worth of materials and spare parts needed for the maintenance work.

The place is packed with subterranean activities, but the ground level will not be neglected. About three hectares of land left empty will be used for light industrial development which can have buildings of up to nine storeys. – CNA/ir

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 26 Jan 2008

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