Saturday, October 28, 2017

The Downtown Line 3 Open House


The Downtown Line is Singapore’s latest and also the longest underground MRT line serving residents from the Bukit Panjang district and the Expo area in Changi all the way to the city area. The third stage of the Downtown Line just opened in late October giving residents in the eastern part of Singapore an alternative to the aging East West Line. To kick off the opening, the Land Transport Authority organised an open house for the new line. Here’s a closer look.

What is the Downtown Line 3 Open House?


The Downtown Line 3 Open House was a free event to commemorate the opening of the latest stage of the MRT line consisting of stations from Expo all the way to Fort Canning. The first stage opened in 2013 with stations mostly in the Marina Bay area while in 2015, the second stage opened giving Bukit Panjang and Bukit Timah residents a faster way to head to the city. With the new Downtown Line 3 stations serving mostly the inner parts of the residential areas, there's no need for residents to hop on a feeder bus service to transfer to the main MRT station at the town centre.

Appearances by Local Celebrities



The main highlight of MRT open houses are the appearances of local celebrities at the MRT stations with them also being the host of the various stage games held at the stations along the MRT line. This gives the public an exciting opportunity to get up close and personal with them and interact with them while winning prizes for volunteering to go up the stage to play the stage games. Definitely a great way to get the word out about Singapore's latest MRT line.

Free Train Rides



What would an MRT open house be without free train rides? The public had the chance to ride the train for free from Expo MRT Station all the way to Fort Canning during the duration of the open house. Come 21st October, passengers can ride beyond Fort Canning station to all the other existing Downtown Line stations until its terminus at Bukit Panjang. Definitely a great way to explore new places with the new MRT line.

Art In Transit


Artworks in MRT stations have become a common sight since its introduction on the North East Line in 2003. It's no secret the Downtown Line stations themselves have amazing artworks created by local and regional artists as well. One particular artwork that attracted quite a lot of attention was of three LCD TVs showing videos of random whiteboard writings welcoming passengers to the Kaki Bukit area at Kaki Bukit MRT Station.


The idea is that as the Kaki Bukit area is half industrial and half housing estate, the drawings are created by both groups of people to symbolise them welcoming each other and removing that barrier that separates both groups. The drawings on the LCD TV will constantly change so that you won't be seeing the same messages over and over again. Didn't know such simplistic artworks could have hug meanings. Definitely an interesting piece of art.

The Deepest MRT Station: Bencoolen


An interesting MRT station on the Downtown Line 3 is the Bencoolen MRT Station, known as the deepest MRT station in Singapore. It measures 43 metres and you have to go through five escalators from the street level all the way to the MRT platforms. The reason why it's so deep is mainly because the Bencoolen area has many buildings which posed an engineering challenge. To add on to that challenge, the existing Circle Line tunnel is just right above. Bencoolen station is indeed a unique MRT station giving easy access to the quiet Bencoolen district.

Conclusion

The Downtown Line 3 is Singapore's longest underground MRT line giving easy access for residents residing in the east. In the future, the Downtown Line will eventually be extended from the existing Expo station all the way to Sungei Bedok to serve the southern part of Bedok and the Upper East Coast District. Now, residents have an alternative to get from Point A to Point B with the Downtown Line stations right on their doorstep.

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