Antipodean Adventure Part 4

The globe-trotting pair called in at Singapore on the way to NZ and Oz, as you do. The above is just one of the spectacular terminals at Changi Airport. But if you look closely behind the waterfall you might just spot …

… the “Shuttle” LRT train which will link you with Singapore’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) network.

The shuttle runs from the Airport via Expo to Tanah Merah where it connects with the full-sized GREEN MRT route. This video shows improvements at the “junction” which may presage extending proper trains into the airport.

After Expo station …

… the shuttle drops into tunnel under a runway and into the terminal building.

A glance at the map shows more connections via the BLUE line at Expo and via proposed routes on the BROWN line and the LIME GREEN line all still at the planning stage.

The MRT is not ancient like London’s Underground. After much political kerfuffle, the first five stop section (map below [1]) opened in 1987, followed quickly by the extension into the city centre [2].

This formed the basis of a North South Line, a name still used today. Next came the cleverly named East West line …

… opened in stages [3] [4] on the west and stage [6] with a bit more ….

… on the end of the eastern section [7].
On the west a branch was added [8] which ultimately joined to the north of the North South line..
All of that was opened in just THREE years although work had been going of for many years earlier. This, then was the network in 1990.

But look at it now on a map of pf current lines and those proposed up to 2040.

(click on the above map for an enlargement)

There must be more money in Singapore than in London or, perhaps, a better focussed political will to do right by the people and for the environment.
Of course trains are fully automatic with platform doors …

… and frequencies are between every 5 min at peak and every 7 min off peak! Stations are well “signed”.

Note the MRT logo, the station name, the entrance number (4) and the colour coded lines served. 

As well as line colours, each set of platforms had a number code (EW17 is station 17 on the East West line) which must help with Singapore’s multi-lingual society.

By No 1 son and wifey did have a complaint (and not “Delhi Belly”!!). Whilst the full line diagram was consistent throughout the system …

… station plans were very much not cartographically to a standard compass rose orientation. 

North could be any which way!

It means that No1 son and his Mrs found their personal street orientation sort of …

… disorientating!!
Trains are simple in style …

… and not designed for comfort …

… or long journeys! There is also plenty of standing room …

… which is probably needed at peak times!

But the Antipodean Adventurers were impressed with Singapore’s quirky mix of the traditional and oriental, matched everywhere by the modern and high rise!

fbb quietly, but unrealistically, wishes he were 40 years younger.

And there are loadsa buses as well!
Tomorrow we go to Edinburgh. And there is other stuff.
 Next Airport blog : Sunday 31st December 
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