New Jurong Region Line will connect NTU to existing Choa Chu Kang and Boon Lay stations [TODAY Online] While the JRL improves the area’s connectivity, the minister noted that it will also bring “resilience” to the entire MRT network. 11 May 2018 11 May 2018 Listen Jurong Region LineAt 24km long, with 24 stations, the Republic’s seventh MRT line, Jurong Region Line (JRL), will open in three phases from 2026. Slated to commence operations the year the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail is scheduled for completion, the JRL will connect the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the gateway to Jurong Island to the existing Choa Chu Kang and Boon Lay stations in a Y-shape operating pattern. Separately, the line will serve the Pandan Reservoir and Tengah area, passing through Jurong East station. Unveiling the JRL alignment during a work site visit to the upcoming Canberra station on the North-South Line (NSL) on Wednesday (May 9), Transport Minister and Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure Khaw Boon Wan called the new line “a quantum leap” for Jurong’s transport infrastructure. Together with the upcoming KL-Singapore High Speed Rail, Mr Khaw said it will give commuters “convenient connections not just within western Singapore, but also to Malaysia”, complementing the development of the Jurong Lake District into the “largest commercial hub” outside the Central Business District, alongside development of the new Jurong Innovation District into the “next generation industrial estate”. “When all these plans come together, Jurong will be a waterfront business hub nestled in greenery, served by good public transport connections, as well as amenities to support active mobility … This is our vision for Jurong,” he added. LINE TO IMPROVE RESILIENCE OF MRT While the JRL improves the area’s connectivity, the minister noted that it will also bring “resilience” to the entire MRT network. This is as commuters will have more choices when any of the two main lines, North-South Line or East-West Line (EWL), breaks down, since the JRL is connected to both Choa Chu Kang and Boon Lay. “This will help to also distribute and relieve train loading between Choa Chu Kang and Jurong East stations, so that commuters can enjoy more comfortable rides,” he added. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) estimates that the new medium capacity line, which will run above ground, will have a projected daily ridership of 200,000 for a start. The figure is expected to ramp up to 500,000 in the long term. In particular, it will serve more than 60,000 households within a 10-minute walk of a train station, putting the Ministry of Transport closer to its goal of having eight in 10 households within that radius by 2030. The Jurong area is currently connected by roads via the Pan Island Expressway and the Ayer Rajah Expressway. By train, the area is served by Lakeside, Boon Lay, and Jurong East stations, as well as Joo Koon and Tuas stations, which came into service in 2009 and 2017 respectively as extensions to the EWL. To cater to the terrain it runs over, trains running on the JRL will be slightly narrower than the ones serving the Circle and Downtown lines. Each train car will be 18.6m long and 2.8m wide, with a capacity of 150 commuters, compared to the typical 23.6m by 3.2m train cars, which can hold 200 commuters each. Ten stations on the main spine of the Y-shaped loop will be opened in the first phase of its opening in 2026. They include eight stations between Choa Chu Kang and Boon Lay interchange stations, passing through two stations that will serve Tengah New Town, and two stations at Gek Poh and Lorong Tawas. In 2027, seven stations connecting Pandan Reservoir to an interchange station at Tengah on the Y-shape loop will be added in the second phase, marking the opening of two more stations that will serve Tengah New Town at its Plantation and Park districts. By 2028, the line will be fully up and running, when seven more stations open in the third and final phase. The last batch will include three stations serving the NTU student population and four stops serving those working at the industrial areas surrounding Enterprise Road, Jalan Tukang and Jurong Pier Road, as well as on Jurong Island. Calling on residents, schools and businesses near the JRL construction sites to bear with “inconveniences and some heartaches” in some years to come, Mr Khaw said: “We will try to minimise the pain, but in life, no pain, no gain. And in this one, we will try to make sure (there is) small pain but big gain.” NEW STATION ON NORTH-SOUTH LINE On Wednesday, Mr Khaw also separately announced that Canberra Station, the new MRT stop between Sembawang and Yishun stations on the NSL, is expected to open for service by December next year, “hopefully before Christmas”. The construction of the station located along Canberra Link in Sembawang is on track to be completed for testing and commissioning in October next year. Works commenced in early 2016, and to date, the station is 55 per cent completed, with more than 1.3 million man hours put in. Canberra Station is the second station to be integrated onto an operational MRT line, with EWL’s Dover station being the first. Its addition will also put 17,000 more households within a 10-minute walk of a train station.