Train services on the entire Downtown Line (DTL) will start later on Sundays from May 14 for three-and-a-half months as the Land Transport Authority (LTA) and train operator SBS Transit (SBST) commence testing in preparation for the year-end opening of Downtown Line 3.
To facilitate the testing of the entire DTL as an integrated line, the first trains departing from Bukit Panjang (towards Expo) and Chinatown (towards Bukit Panjang) will leave at 7.31am, instead of 5.50am and 6.28am respectively every Sunday, from May 14 to Aug 27. This will exclude June 25, the Hari Raya Puasa Sunday.
Shuttle buses will be provided between 5.50am and 7.30am. They will run parallel to the DTL1 and DTL2, stopping at each of the 18 stations of these two lines.
Explaining the delayed train start times at a media briefing on Wednesday (April 26), the LTA and SBST said that an additional two hours are needed for the test runs as a round-trip loop between Bukit Panjang and Expo will take about two and a half hours.
More time is also needed for preparatory works before the tests start, and to ready the systems for start of passenger service.
Mr Ngien Hoon Ping, chief executive officer of LTA, said: "We are making good progress on the DTL3 and are on track to open 16 new stations by the end of the year.
"Before this, we need to carry out comprehensive systems testing and run trains along the entire DTL from Bukit Panjang to Expo. It is therefore necessary that we extend our limited engineering hours once a week to allow our engineers to test the system in an integrated manner."