Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Expected system details

The Jurong Region Line (JRL) is a rapid transit line being developed to serve the Jurong area and surrounding districts. In a notable H-shape, the line features several branches that link it to various districts. Based on the LTA definition for MRT and LRT systems, we assume that the JRL will be classified as an MRT line. LTA defines an LRT system as one that transports under 10,000 people per direction per hour (ppdph). Whereas an MRT system is one that transports over 10,000 ppdph. As such, this indicates that the distinction between systems lies in the passenger capacity rather than the mode (rubber-tyred or steel-wheeled).

In order to expedite the construction of the line, we believe that it will be an elevated line running with rubber tyres. This allows a quieter operation which can be brought along major roads close to residential areas. The LRT-like operation of the line could also allow more flexibility. An example of what we envision to be a similar system is the Yurikamome line in Japan which features a Mitsubishi Crystal Mover stock with 6 cars forming a single train. The flexibility of such a system is that it allows the capacity for branches with a more seasonal demand to be adjusted accordingly.

One branch of the JRL is intended to reach the Nanyang Technological University. This branch would see a more seasonal demand for service as the university has its teaching terms and holidays. This could lead to the over-provision of capacity if a fixed capacity system is used, typically that of the steel-wheeled, steel-railed train variety (current MRT lines). A rubber-tyred, concrete-track system allows flexibility with passenger cabins that are connected together as needed. For instance, the MIA Mover in Miami has Mitsubishi Crystal Mover cars in married pairs. Such a configuration could be joined into 4-car or 6-car formations as needed by the passenger demand.

We expect that the branches with higher demand would be the Choa Chu Kang and West Coast branches as these connect to existing estates with high passenger traffic. The creation of additional and alternative routes would allow the crowds to ease from the congestion present on the current routes available.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Indicative length

A media reply by LTA on 1 Sep 2014 has given an indicative length of the line.

Media Replies
1 Sep 2014
I refer to Mr Alfred Yeo’s feedback in his letter ‘Speed up Jurong MRT line’ (ST, 22 Aug 2014).  The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has been working to improve transport in the Jurong area. Several projects like new train lines are in the works, and many other improvements are completed or are making good progress.     
In 2016, Tuas West Extension (TWE) will open. Four additional stations after Joo Koon station will serve communities in Jurong and Tuas industrial areas. Come 2025, a 20-km Jurong Region Line (JRL) will serve residents of Choa Chu Kang, Boon Lay and future developments in Tengah.
While TWE and JRL are in the works, LTA is increasing train capacity on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL). We are progressively adding 41 new trains to the NSEWL, which will boost capacity by about 30%. The new signalling system for the NSEWL, when completed in 2016 (NSL) and 2018 (EWL) will improve train frequencies.
LTA is also injecting more bus capacity and improving the bus connectivity to help residents and workers get around. Under our Bus Service Enhancement Programme (BSEP), we added City Direct Bus Service 651 to bring commuters directly from Jurong West into the city during peak periods, Service 49 to improve connectivity between Jurong West and Lakeside MRT station, and more buses to beef up Service 79 to improve its frequency. Commuters in the area will be among the first to enjoy higher bus service standards under the new government Bus Contracting Model, as some bus services originating from Jurong East, Bukit Batok and Clementi bus interchanges fall under the first package of routes that will be put up for bidding in the second half of this year. Commuters will experience shorter waiting times and greater frequencies from 2016.
We thank Mr Yeo for his feedback, and wish to assure commuters in the Jurong region that LTA is doing all we can to meet current and future transport demands in the area.
Helen Lim (Ms)
Director, Media Relations
Land Transport Authority

With this, early indications are that the Jurong Region Line is being planned as a 20-km long line. Here is a list of the rough estimates for the various branches:

Line 1 - Choa Chu Kang to Jurong Hill - 9.4km
Line 2 - Tengah to West Coast - 7.0km
Line 3 - Boon Lay to NTU - 3.6km