1987: A New Line of Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit System Opens to the Public

November 7, 1987

In the Republic of Singapore, the first section of the high-capacity rail transportation system known as the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) officially began operations. At the time of its debut, the North South Line (NSL) of the MRT covered 3.7 miles (six kilometers) between the Yio Chu Kang station in Ang Mo Kio, a planning area and residential town situated in the North-East Region of Singapore; and the Toa Payoh station in an eponymous planning area and residential town that is located in the Asian city-state’s Central Region.

The inaugural ceremony for the initial segment of the NSL was held on the platform of the Toa Payoh station. Those taking part in the ceremony included Ong Teng Cheong, who was second deputy prime minister at the time and subsequently became the fifth president of Singapore; and Yeo Ning Hong, minister for communications and information. As part of the festivities, both men and approximately 400 others in attendance boarded a specially arranged train for the first round-trip ride between the Toa Payoh and Yio Chu Kang stations. Following the completion of this trip, the NSL was opened to the public. An estimated 120,000 passengers traveled on the line during its first day of service.

The NSL now serves 27 stations altogether and encompasses 28 miles (45 kilometers) between the Jurong East station in the Jurong Lake District in Singapore’s West Region and the Marina South Pier station in the Straits View planning area in the Central Region. The entire MRT network encompasses 124 miles (199.6 kilometers), with 120 stations in operation across a total of five lines.

For more information on the opening of the Mass Rapid Transit’s North South Line in Singapore, please check out http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/history/events/e926e24f-9c14-482b-b278-d582b535deb6.

(Photo courtesy of William Cho.)

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