North-South Line

The North-South Line is the first line to be introduced into the MRT system and is coloured red on the system map. SMRT is currently operating this line.

In operation since 1987, the line has undergone several line extensions to serve newer areas of Singapore. It is currently 45km long with 27 stations from Jurong East to Marina South Pier. The line mainly serves the northern region and connects to the western and central part of Singapore.

It is also the first line in Singapore to have undergone a re-signalling project, converting the line from semi-automatic to fully automated operations.


At a Glance

North-South Line

First opened 7 November 1987

45km with 27 stations

High capacity line with 6-car trains

Fully-automatic train operation

Line operated by SMRT Trains

Line Diagram

North-South Line (NSL) Line Diagram

Rolling Stock



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Initial Stages

The oldest stretch of the line, from Yio Chu Kang to Toa Payoh, commenced revenue service on 7 November 1987. This marks the opening of the first mass rapid transit system in Singapore. The line was further extended southwards to Outram Park, which opened on 12 December 1987, completing the first phase of the initial system. Trains would run directly between Yio Chu Kang and Outram Park via Raffles Place. As part of phase 1A of the initial system, passenger services on the line was extended westwards to Clementi on 13 March 1988.

In phase 2B of the initial system, the line was extended westwards to Lakeside on 5 November 1988, and northwards to Yishun on 20 December 1988. Phase 2A was completed on 4 November 1989, which connects Marina Bay to Raffles Place, and Tanah Merah to City Hall. This starts the separation of the North-South Line and the East-West Line of the MRT system.

As part of phase 2B, a branch line extends off Jurong East station commenced service on 10 March 1990, serving between Jurong East and Choa Chu Kang, and operating as part of the East-West Line.

Learn more about the history of the MRT Initial System here >

Line Extensions

Woodlands Extension

In 1990, the government put up a proposal to build a 6-station 16km Woodlands MRT line for $1.3 billion, connecting Choa Chu Kang to Yishun stations on the North-South Line. The government went ahead with its plan to construct the Woodlands Extension in February 1991. The extension was completed on 10 February 1996. The completion of the extension allows trains from the branch line at Jurong East to travel to Marina Bay via Woodlands, converting the branch line operations as part of the North-South Line.

North-South Line Extension

The 1-station 1km North-South Line extension to Marina South Pier connects the line to the adjacent Marina South Pier and Marina Bay Cruise Centre.

The extension to Marina South Pier opened on 23 November 2014 and is the second underground station on the North-South Line with the newer generation Platform Screen Doors.

Canberra Station

Canberra station, situated between Sembawang and Yishun, is the second station in Singapore's train network to be built along an existing line. Similar to Dover station on the East-West Line, the station utilises side platforms.

A new 72m track crossing with noise barriers was constructed north of Canberra station over a long weekend between 18 to 20 May 2019. The additional track crossing connects the northbound and southbound tracks to facilitate train turnarounds.

The contract for the construction of Canberra station was awarded in mid-2015, with works started on 26 March 2016. The new station opened on 2 November 2019.

Sungei Kadut Station

Announced in the Land Transport Master Plan 2040 on 25 May 2019, the new Sungei Kadut station, situated between Yew Tee and Kranji stations, will be an interchange station between the North-South Line and the Downtown Line. Similar to Dover and Canberra stations, the station will utilise side platforms.

The station is expected to be completed by the mid 2030s.

Brickland Station

Also announced in the Land Transport Master Plan 2040 on 25 May 2019, the new Brickland station will be situated between Bukit Gombak and Choa Chu Kang station. The station will also utilise side platforms.

In tandem with the developments within Tengah, the station is expected to be completed by the mid 2030s.

Infrastructure Upgrades

Retrofitting Elevated Stations with Half-Height Platform Screen Doors

To enhance commuters' safety and reduce the incidence of track intrusions, all 36 elevated stations on the North-South and East-West Lines are retrofitted with half-height platform screen doors in four stages between August 2009 and June 2012.

The half-height platform screen doors are 1.5 metres high and are installed along the edge of the station platform to create a barrier separating the trackside and the platform.

Jurong East Modification Project (JEMP)

The Jurong East Modification Project is a key infrastructural upgrading project that involves adding a new platform and tracks for the North-South Line at Jurong East MRT station.

The modification project consists of the design, construction and completion of an elevated platform station extension that is adjacent to the existing Jurong East MRT Station, as well as a 1.65km (total length 2.5km) viaduct, including a special superstructure spanning the North-South line, the ancillary structures and external works. The three-storey platform extension is approximately 150m long and 20m wide. Addition and alteration works are carried out to link the entire first floor of the existing MRT station and provide a new open plaza on the eastern side.

With the completion of the new platform on 27 May 2011, trains on the North-South Line will be able to arrive and depart the station at shorter intervals.

Re-signalling Project

The signalling system of the North-South and East-West Lines was upgraded to the SelTrac Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) system from Thales. Trains will be allowed to run at an interval of 100 seconds during peak periods, down from 120 seconds with the legacy system.

With the addition of new trains and the upgrading of the signalling system, commuters would expect to have shorter waiting times during the peak hours and there would be a potential 20% improvement to the existing capacity.

The first passenger service trial of the upgraded signalling system was conducted on 28 March 2017, during the last hour of passenger service. The trial continued gradually with full-day tests on Sundays from 16 April 2017, followed by the full switchover to the new signalling system from 28 May 2017.

Sleeper Replacement

The sleeper replacement programme involves the replacement of the railway sleeper as timber sleepers are only designed to last for 15 to 25 years and must be replaced when signs of wear and tear are shown. About 188,000 sleepers along the 131km of tracks on the North-South and East-West Lines will be replaced with concrete sleepers in this programme, which have a lifespan of about 50 years.

The programme started in November 2012 and was completed in April 2015 for the North-South Line, with about 96,000 sleepers replaced. The new sleepers allow trains to move along the tracks smoothly, allowing a safe, smoother and faster ride.


Date Project Description
7 November 1987 Phase 1 Yio Chu Kang - Toa Payoh (5 stations)
12 December 1987 Phase 1 Toa Payoh - Outram Park (9 stations)
(Direct train service to Outram Park via Raffles Place)
12 March 1988 Phase 1/1A Official opening ceremony marking the completion of Phase 1 and 1A
13 March 1988 Phase 1A Outram Park - Clementi (6 stations)
Now part of the East-West Line
5 November 1988 Phase 2B Clementi - Lakeside (3 stations)
Now part of the East-West Line
20 December 1988 Phase 2B Yio Chu Kang - Yishun (2 stations)
4 November 1989 Phase 2A Raffles Place - Marina Bay (1 station)
(Separation of the North-South Line & East-West Line)
10 March 1990 Phase 2B Jurong East - Choa Chu Kang (3 stations)
(Operates as a branch line from Jurong East)
10 February 1996 Woodlands Extension Choa Chu Kang - Yishun (6 stations)
27 May 2011 Jurong East Modification Project Opening of Jurong East Platform A and B
23 November 2014 North-South Line Extension Marina Bay - Marina South Pier (1 station)
April 2015 Sleeper Replacement Completion of the sleeper replacement programme on the North-South Line
28 March 2017 Re-signalling Project Commmencement of the upgraded signalling system on the North-South Line
2 November 2019 Canberra Station Canberra station between Sembawang and Yishun
By mid 2030s Future stations between existing stations Brickland station between Bukit Gombak and Choa Chu Kang
Sungei Kadut station between Yew Tee and Kranji

Facts + Figures

High capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
Stations / Length
27 stations / 45.0km (currently operational)
Jurong East to Marina South Pier - 45.0km
Bishan Depot
Ulu Pandan Depot
Train Length
6 cars
Track Gauge
Standard gauge (1435mm)
750V DC from third rail
Operation Type
Fully-automated operation
Signalling System
Moving-block Thales SelTrac Convergence CBTC
Fixed-block Westinghouse FS2000 ATC (Fallback)