SMRT Goes Full Steam Ahead With Early Closures And Late Openings, This Time On North-South Line

Bishan-ites, just when you thought you were safe from SMRT’s string of early closures and late openings, the train operator has bad news for you.

On Thursday (19 Apr), SMRT announced that 7 stations along the North-South Line (NSL) will close earlier on Fridays and Saturdays and open later on weekends in May.

The 7 affected stations are:

  • Khatib
  • Yio Chu Kang
  • Ang Mo Kio
  • Bishan
  • Braddell
  • Toa Payoh
  • Novena

They will all close earlier at around 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays and open later at around 8am on Saturdays and Sundays.

Stations currently close at around midnight and open at 5.30am daily.

The modified timings, known affectionately as ECLO among the train otaku fraternity, will more than double the time SMRT’s engineering teams have for maintenance and rectification works.

How it will affect you

During the affected period, NSL services will still run normally between Jurong East and Yishun, and Newton and Marina South Pier.

To make up for lost services, SMRT will roll out Shuttle Bus Service 9 to ply between Yishun and Newton.

The service will stop at designated pick-up and drop-off points near affected stations.

As the Circle Line station at Bishan will continue to run normally, SMRT will also operate Express 16 between Ang Mo Kio and Serangoon stations.

This offers commuters a connection to the Circle Line, as well as the North-East Line.

These shuttle buses will not be free and fares will match MRT prices.

June isn’t the end of ECLO

Last month, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan confirmed our worst fears when he announced that ECLO may continue beyond June.

Half of the six major renewal programmes for the ageing NSL and EWL are on track to be completed by June.

The other three are slated for completion by the early 2020s.

Maybe these renewal programmes are what our train system needs to reach world-class standards once again.


Or so we hope.

In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a recap of some major breakdowns the MRT system has faced over the years:

Featured image from the Land Transport Authority