ST Sengkang LRT-min (1)Commuters disembarking at the Sengkang LRT station on Jan 18, 2013. Photo: ST

SINGAPORE – Sengkang LRT system will implement a two-car train system by the first quarter of 2016 to ease packed cabins during rush hours, the Land Transport Authority said (LTA) announced on Monday (Oct 5).

Sengkang LRT currently runs on a single carriage system. LTA said that it has started testing of the two-car trains outside operating hours this week. It will continue for at least a month before being tested during off-peak hours.

The signalling system for the Sengkang LRT was also upgraded on Sept 27 to handle two-car operations.

Meanwhile, the signalling system for the Punggol LRT is currently underway, and is expected to be finished by the third quarter of 2016. Equipment upgrading for Punggol LRT will also be completed by third quarter of 2016.

Commuters on the Punggol LRT can expect a two-car system by early 2017.

The Straits Times reported that 16 new cars will also be added to the Sengkang-Punggol LRT by 2017, boosting the capacity by 40 per cent. These 16 cars will all be able to operate in a two-car system.

The first batch of four vehicles for the Punggol LRT line will arrive in mid-November, the LTA said.

LTA also announced that there will be stabling of trains at the link line between the Sengkang loop and Punggol loop. This will allow a quicker turnaround of trains.

Channel NewsAsia reported that it takes just two minutes to deploy a train from here compared to at least 15 minutes from Sengkang Depot.

This article was first published in AsiaOne.