The new Canberra station on the North-South Line will be opened on Nov 2, serving an estimated 17,000 homes in nearby estates
Canberra station on North-South Line opening on Nov 2 The station is a 10-minute walk from an estimated 17,000 homes in nearby estates such as Sembawang Springs. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

The new Canberra station, located between Sembawang and Yishun stations on the North-South Line (NSL), will open on Nov 2 this year.

Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan announced this during a site visit to the MRT station yesterday afternoon.

The station, which is only the second to be built on an existing line, after Dover station on the East-West Line, is a 10-minute walk from an estimated 17,000 homes in nearby estates such as Sembawang Springs, EastLink I and II @ Canberra and Eastwave @ Canberra.

When it opens, those travelling towards the city or Jurong East can save up to 10 minutes in their commuting time.

Mr Khaw had said in May last year that Canberra station would open by December this year.

About 75 per cent of the construction work at the station has been completed so far.

Five stations on the NSL, from Admiralty to Yio Chu Kang, were closed for different parts of the Vesak Day long weekend to facilitate the construction of a crossover track near the upcoming station.

The 72m-long crossover track, built between Sembawang and Canberra stations, will, in the event of a track fault, allow trains on the NSL to bypass the faulty stretch by crossing from the northbound track to the southbound track, or vice versa.

On the first two days of work on the crossover track, existing tracks were first isolated from the rail system for the safety of the workers, before trackside equipment such as the power rail, track circuits and signalling equipment were removed.

The existing tracks were then cut and removed before the crossover track was installed. System integration testing and certification works were then carried out.

The three-day process involved about 110 workers.

Normal passenger service resumes today.

With the completion of the new crossover track, there will be more than 50 such tracks on the North-South and East-West lines.

Madam Sarala J. Pillai, 65, a retired mediation officer, said the new station will make it more convenient for her to visit her daughter's family in Canberra Crescent.

She visits them every weekday, sometimes after shopping at Tekka Centre.

The trip by taxi from Tekka Centre to Canberra Crescent costs about $10. Soon, she will be able to take a train from Little India and then walk for about 10 minutes to her daughter's home.

"Taking an MRT train is actually faster than taking a taxi because there's no traffic and no jam," said the Yishun resident.

Canberra station will be one of the most accessible for commuters because it has five entrances. NSL stations have an average of three entrances each.

Canberra station will also be the first elevated MRT station to provide commuters with direct access to the city-bound train platform via a link bridge across Canberra Link. Covered linkways will connect the station to bus stops and bicycle parks.

Work on Canberra station began in April 2015. The estimated cost of the project, including for the crossover track, is around $90 million.

With the addition of Canberra station, the NSL will have 27 MRT stations from November, connecting commuters between Jurong East and Marina South Pier stations.