North South Line

by | Aug 18, 2022

North South Line

North South Line hallway

Want to Know About the North South Line?

The North-South Line (NSL), a high-capacity MRT line that connects the northern and southern parts of the island through Central Singapore, was the first MRT line to open in Singapore. SMRT presently manages its operation.

The NSL is 44 kilometres long and has 27 stations. The North South Line connects Jurong East (station code NS1) in the west with Marina South Pier (station code NS28) in the south through Woodlands (station code NS9) in the north. More than half of the line’s length is covered by elevated viaducts, while the remaining brief stretches of its path are underground, including the Central Area (between Bishan and Marina South Pier).


The State and City Planning Project’s planners predicted in 1967 that Singapore would require a rail-based urban transportation system year 1992, and this estimate is where the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) in North South Line. In response to a discussion on whether a bus-only system would be more economical, the then-communications minister, Ong Teng Cheong, concluded an all-bus system would not suffice.  It would have to fight for road space on the country’s limited amount of land. Construction of Phase I of the MRT system, which will comprise the North-South line, was given priority after deciding on a rail-based system because it runs through areas with a demand for public transportation.


The North-South Line enters Singapore in Jurong East on the western side and travels north via Woodlands before turning south via Yishun and Central Singapore until coming to an end at Marina South Pier in the south. Large residential communities such as Bukit Batok, Choa Chu Kang, Woodlands, Sembawang, Yishun, Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, and Toa Payoh; are those it goes through. The route travels underground within the Central Area (between Bishan and Marina South Pier) to avoid laying tracks at the surface. It comprises a combination of elevated viaducts, at-grade portions, and underground tunnels. A short tunnel connects Bukit Batok and Bukit Gombak, and a second one runs beneath Woodlands Avenue 3 between Kranji and Marsiling.

Improvement works

Since the commencement of the NSL, full-height Platform Screen Doors (PSDs) have only placed at underground stations. Half-height PSDs were first trialled at Jurong East and Yishun in 2009, followed by a network-wide installation from 2011–2012 to improve commuter safety and eliminate the likelihood of track encroachment occurrences. The NSL, the network’s oldest MRT line, benefited from extensive renovation work done in the 2010s. It comprised third-rail power supply renewal replacement involved replacing the timber sleepers on overground lines with concrete ones. The most significant improvement was $195 million in re-signalling work that converted the NSL to a Thales Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) system and decreased the minimum time between trains.


Every day from around 5:30 is a late at night run on the North-South MRT line. Trains typically run two to three minutes during peak hours and every five minutes during non-peak hours along the route. Every day first train departs Jurong East station towards Marina South Pier station at around 5:15 am (5:35 am on Sundays and public holidays). At 6:10 am, the first train departs from Marina South Pier station for Jurong East station (approximately 6:40 am on Sundays and public holidays). 

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