01(12): Why isn’t there a CC18 on the Circle Line?

I used to wonder why the train ride between Caldecott (CC17) and Botanic Gardens (CC19) was unusually long (5-min) while taking the train home from school. I looked at the MRT network map and then realised that there was a skip from CC17 to CC19! Usually, train rides are 2-3 minutes. Sometimes, they can be as short as 1 minute (e.g. ride between Potong Pasir station and Woodleigh station).

Public transport is the most common form of transport in our land-scarce city-state. Singapore’s public transport consists of buses and trains. For the train network, the following lines have been established (when they commenced operation chronologically): North-South Line (red), East-West Line (green), North-East Line (purple), the Circle Line (yellow), and most recently, the Downtown Line (blue).

Fun fact 1: The red, green, and yellow lines are operated by SMRT, while the purple and blue lines are operated by SBS Transit.

It turns out that there is, after all, a CC18 station – Bukit Brown. The station is located in the Novena planning area. It is non-operational due to a lack of development in the area. Being a ‘shell’ station, its facilities are only used as emergency escape shafts. As you might guess, the station sits on the former Bukit Brown Cemetery.

There are stations that were once in Bukit Brown station’s shoes. Two such stations are Woodleigh (NE11) and Buangkok (NE15). Woodleigh MRT station was opened on 20 June 2011. When the North-East (purple) line first commenced operations, Woodleigh and Buangkok were non-operational due to low development in their vicinities then.

Readers who use the North-South line frequently might notice that, similarly, NS6 and NS12 are not present on the list of currently operational stations. Let us talk about NS12 first. For this station, it is set to open this year!

The new station is Canberra and is located between Sembawang (NS11) and Yishun (NS13) MRT stations. According to the LTA website, the Canberra MRT station will ‘serve commuters living in nearby estates such as Sembawang Springs, as well as a mix of upcoming public and private residential developments in the neighbourhood’. With a direct connection to the MRT network, the new station will reduce travelling time towards Jurong East or the city centre by about ten minutes.

Fun fact 2: Canberra is Australia’s capital, NOT Sydney. Basically, it was because Australians couldn’t agree between having either Sydney or Melbourne as their capital that they compromised and decided that a region geographically between the two cities would constitute their capital!

For NS6, it is likely to be named ‘Sungei Kadut’, if it ever does become operational. Similar to the case involving Caldecott and Botanic Gardens, the train ride between Yew Tee (NS5) and Kranji (NS7) is about five minutes!

Likewise, DT4 is missing from Downtown Line. It is probably going to be called ‘Hume’. However, just like the case of ‘Woodleigh’ and ‘Bukit Brown’, DT4 is not operational because there is not enough development in the region to justify its operation.

I hope you have found this article interesting! Stay tuned!

Yours faithfully,
Nicholas Loh
5 February 2019

References & Further Reading
1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bukit_Brown_MRT_station
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_Rapid_Transit_(Singapore)
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodleigh_MRT_station
4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botanic_Gardens_MRT_station#/media/File:Exit_A_Botanic_Gardens.jpg
5. https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/ltaweb/en/public-transport/projects/canberra.html
6. https://www.lta.gov.sg/content/dam/ltaweb/corp/PublicTransport/img/NSLE%20line.jpg
7. https://goodyfeed.com/the-reason-why-theres-a-missing-mrt-station-between-yew-tee-and-kranji/

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