Sunday, 3 August 2014

New Canberra MRT station between Yishun and Sembawang stations

New MRT station up north to be completed in 2019
It will be located in Canberra Link; work to start in middle of next year
By Lee Jian Xuan, The Straits Times, 2 Aug 2014

WORK on the new MRT station between Yishun and Sembawang stations will start in the middle of next year, and residents there can expect to start using it in 2019 when it is completed.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday that the Canberra MRT station will be located along Canberra Link and serve commuters living in nearby estates such as Sembawang Springs, as well as new public and private residences.

Currently, residents in the area have to take a bus to get onto the MRT network at either Sembawang or Yishun station.

"With this direct connection to the MRT network, residents travelling towards the city centre or Jurong East will enjoy time savings of up to 10 minutes," the LTA said.

Canberra will also be the second MRT station in Singapore to be built on an existing rail line - the first was Dover station, which opened on the East-West line in 2001.

While building the station on an existing line will be "challenging" due to constraints on working hours and space, the LTA said it will prioritise the safety of MRT operations and site security.

The new station will have a sky bridge built across Canberra Link to allow commuters to bypass the station's concourse level and get direct access to the city-bound train platform.

Residents there are hoping that the new station will help relieve crowds at existing stations.

For accountant James Lim, 29, who lives in an HDB flat in Montreal Link, the Canberra station will be closer than Sembawang station to his home. He said: "It'll make my place more accessible for friends to visit."

A committee member of the Holy Tree Sri Balasubramaniar temple, Mr Y. Ramalengam, 64, said the new station would benefit worshippers living in Sembawang.

"Most of them now take a bus from Sembawang to Yishun, before changing to another bus service to get to the temple. So this will be more convenient," said Mr Ramalengam, who sees about 600 to 800 worshippers at the temple during peak days.

The new station will benefit at least 10,000 residents, said Nee Soon GRC MP Lim Wee Kiak.

But residents will have to bear with the inconvenience and noise of construction, he added.

"The station will provide convenience for all residents, especially those with long travelling times now... we should look forward to the long-term benefits," said Dr Lim.

We were at the groundbreaking for the construction of the Canberra Station on NS Line just now. Building a new station...
Posted by Khaw Boon Wan on Saturday, March 26, 2016

* Safety first as work starts on new Canberra MRT station on 'live' North-South Line
Khaw's emphasis comes even as LTA notes that stringent measures will be put in place
By Adrian Lim, The Sunday Times, 27 Mar 2016

Work on Canberra station on the North-South Line (NSL) started yesterday, as Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan stressed that safety will be a top priority in building the station - only the second after Dover to be built over an MRT line already in operation.

Canberra station, which is between Sembawang and Yishun stations, is expected to be ready in 2019.

"Building a new station on a functioning line has its challenges," Mr Khaw wrote on Facebook, adding that he has "stressed to the construction team to place safety as their top priority".

Mr Khaw's emphasis on safety comes after two SMRT workers were hit and killed by an oncoming train near Pasir Ris MRT last Tuesday. SMRT admitted a day later that a safety lapse led to the deaths of the men, aged 26 and 24.

In a press release yesterday, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) noted that stringent safety measures will be put in place.

"We have enhanced the work processes used previously for the construction of Dover station," said LTA. Dover station, on the East-West line, opened in 2001.

For Canberra station, critical works next to the existing tracks will be confined to the three to four hours when the trains are not running, said LTA.

When works are carried out near the "live" tracks, LTA and the contractor will coordinate with SMRT, the NSL operator, over access to the work area, and impose stringent control on the works being done, it added.

A project safety review process for the design and construction phases has been implemented, along with detailed risk assessments, LTA said.

A protective enclosure of nearly 220m - the length of the station - will be built around the tracks for safety. This is so that light construction works, such as the outfitting of the skin of the roof, can be done even as trains are running.

Hey folks, as we begin works for the Canberra MRT station – located between Sembawang and Yishun stations along the...
Posted by Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving on Sunday, March 27, 2016

Working around an operational MRT line presents a unique set of engineering challenges, especially as the hours to do critical works are limited, said LTA's director of rail expansion Chuah Han Leong.

"You are building all around the MRT line - building under because the concourse is there, building next to it as the platforms are on both sides, and a roof on top. You are wrapping around the viaduct, basically," he said.

A station mock-up will be built off-site so a trial installation of the columns and roof truss can be done, to determine the safest and most effective construction method, Mr Chuah added.

The mock-up will be a skeletal version and will comprise two sets of columns and roof trusses.

During construction, the roof trusses, which span more than 28m, will have to be lifted vertically by cranes and joined to columns of about 17m in height. "You can imagine the precision required," Mr Chuah said.

As part of the works, a new 72m- long rail crossover track will be constructed north of Canberra station to connect the two existing tracks. "This allows trains to move from one track to the other, providing better operational resilience," LTA said.

The contract to build the station was awarded last April to China State Construction Engineering (Singapore) for $90 million.

When completed, Canberra station will serve residents of nearby estates like Sembawang Springs as well as upcoming residential developments.

Direct lift access from HDB blocks to three MRT stations
Projects at Commonwealth, Clementi, Queenstown stations to finish by mid-2015
By Joy Fang, TODAY, 1 Aug 2014

Some residents living near Clementi, Commonwealth and Queenstown MRT stations will soon get to enjoy direct lift access to the stations from their Housing and Development Board (HDB) blocks.

This is part of upgrading work to be carried out at these stations, which will also see new additional concourses with room for more fare gates.

When completed by the middle of next year, they will help disperse commuters and ease congestion, and provide greater convenience, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday, as it shared these plans.

Residents from HDB blocks 326 and 327, which are located next to Clementi MRT Station, will see a new lift at the ground level of their HDB block. This lift will lead to a sheltered bridge, which will connect to the new concourse built at the other end of the station.

The concourse will be directly linked to the platform, providing an additional entrance for commuters. Another bridge will connect the concourse to Block 450, which is across the road.

The Commonwealth and Queenstown stations will also see similar lift access, which has already been introduced at Yew Tee MRT Station. At Commonwealth, the station will link to Blocks 88 and 89, while at Queenstown, the station will connect to Blocks 181 and 182.

As for the new concourses, they will allow for nine more fare gates at Clementi, and six more each at Commonwealth and Queenstown.

All three will have one more ticketing machine.

The LTA said the work — which began last year — will cost S$11.7 million. Good progress is being made at all three stations and are on track to be completed by the middle of next year.

Mr Saifulbahri Rasno, the LTA’s deputy director of infrastructure enhancement, said currently, work is done very close to existing tracks. The extended concourse will also require the hacking of the wall at the back of the station.

The challenge is in minimising disruption to operations and ensuring the integrity of the existing structure is not compromised, he said. Hence most major work, such as heavy lifting, are only being carried out during non-operational hours.

A commuter who wanted to be known as Madam Cham, 45, said the new arrangements will bring her relief. The salesperson said Clementi station is very crowded during peak periods, and she has to squeeze into and out of the trains every day.

Insurance agent Derek Nathan, 25, who travels to Clementi four times a week for work, said the improvements would help in dispersing commuters who are crammed on the two existing bridges.

“But more people leaving through the new exits also means more people can come in through them, which may not alleviate the crowd situation,” he pointed out.

Separately, two more new trains were added to the East-West Line last month, joining the first new train that was added to the line in February. The LTA said three more trains are undergoing testing and will be added by next month.

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