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S$60b earmarked for expansion, renewal of rail network over next decade: Khaw

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Singapore will channel over S$60 billion towards expanding and renewing its rail network over the next decade, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Thursday.

SINGAPORE will channel over S$60 billion towards expanding and renewing its rail network over the next decade, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Thursday.

The multibillion dollar figure will cover - among other things - the completion of the Thomson-East Coast Line by 2024, as well as the extensions to the North East Line and the Downtown Line, by 2023 and 2024 respectively. Meanwhile, the Circle Line will be completed in 2025, and the Jurong Region Line by 2028. In addition, Phase 1 of the Cross Island Line will be completed by 2029 as Singapore works towards growing its rail network to cover 360km by 2030, up from 230km today.

Besides expanding the rail network, the government will also complete the renewal of the North-South and East-West Lines by around 2023.

Speaking during the Committee of Supply (COS) debate for the transport ministry, Mr Khaw said: "By then, we would also be able to see the benefits from the renewal of our oldest LRT, the Bukit Panjang LRT. Ageing train stations too will be suitably refurbished and upgraded, especially the toilets and escalators. In time, we will also need to renew the next oldest lines – North East Line and Sengkang Punggol LRT."

He added: "The hard lesson learnt from the problems earlier faced by SMRT is that we must invest in good operations and maintenance. This means engineering capabilities, as well as the timely renewal of old MRT and LRT lines."

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