Chinatown MRT Station

牛车水 | சைனாடவுன்
Station exit C
Address 151 New Bridge Road, Singapore 059443 (NEL)
91 Upper Cross Street, Singapore 058362 (DTL)
Lines Served   North East Line
  Downtown Line
Operator SBS Transit (NEL & DTL)
Structure Underground (NEL & DTL)
Platform Island (NEL)
Side (DTL)
Opened 20 Jun 2003 (NEL)
22 Dec 2013 (DTL)

Chinatown MRT Station (NE4/DT19) is an interchange station connecting the North East Line (NEL) and the Downtown Line (DTL), located in the ethnic district of Chinatown. It is bordered by the Chinatown, People’s Park, Pearl’s Hill and China Square planning subzones.

Located at the junction of Eu Tong Sen Street, New Bridge Road and Upper Cross Street, the station brings rail connections to the densely built-up Chinatown district, where its modern architecture stands out from surrounding buildings with distinctly Chinese cultural elements.

First / Last Train Timings

North East Line – NE4 Chinatown
Destination First Train Last Train
Weekdays Sat Sun &
Weekdays Sat, Sun & PHs
NE1 Harbour-
6:10am 6:11am 6:31am 11:56pm 11:55pm
NE17 Punggol 5:49am 5:50am 6:10am 12:00am 12:00am
Downtown Line – DT19 Chinatown
Destination First Train Last Train
& Sat
Sun &
Public Holidays
DT1 Bukit Panjang 6:10am 6:28am 12:14am
DT35 Expo 6:08am 6:28am 12:09am

Station Layout

L1 Street level Bus Stops, Taxi Stand, Pick-Up/Drop-Off point
B1 DTL Concourse Faregates, Ticketing machines, Passenger Service Centre
B2 NEL Concourse Faregates, Ticketing machines, Passenger Service Centre
Platform C Downtown Line towards DT1BP6 Bukit Panjang
Platform D Downtown Line towards DT35CG1 Expo
B3 Platform A North East Line towards NE1CC29 HarbourFront
Platform B North East Line towards NE17PTC Punggol
Transfer Linkway Paid link to Downtown Line Platform C


Downtown Line (B2):
Platform C: Downtown Line towards DT1BP6 Bukit Panjang via DT18 Telok Ayer (→)
MRT_rail (2)
MRT_rail (2)
Platform D: Downtown Line towards DT35CG1 Expo via DT20 Fort Canning (←)
North East Line (B3):
MRT_rail (2)
Platform B: North East Line towards NE17PTC Punggol via NE5 Clarke Quay (→)
Platform A: North East Line towards NE1CC29 HarbourFront via NE3EW16 Outram Park (←)
MRT_rail (2)

Chinatown station has four platforms; both rail lines are served by two each. While the NEL station uses a more conventional island platform layout, the DTL station uses a side platform arrangement. Full-height Platform screen doors isolate the air-conditioned station from the tunnel environment, enhancing commuter safety and station comfort. A set of escalators, stairs and lifts connect to the concourse above.

Passenger Information Systems, which are plasma display screens located at each platform, display expected train arrival times and key messages. Tactile flooring helps to guide the visually-handicapped from the platform to the station exits.


Both NEL and DTL concourses feature faregates for automatic fare collection and provides access between paid and unpaid areas of the station, with at least one bidirectional wide-swinging gate for the benefit of passengers-in-wheelchairs and those carrying bulky items or travelling with prams.

General Ticketing Machines allow commuters to purchase tickets for single or multiple journeys, and along with Top-up Machines, offer contactless card transactions. Both NEL and DTL station offices function as Passenger Service Centres, and are staffed during operating hours, where commuters may make travel inquiries or perform card transactions using cash payment. A Transitlink ticket office is located in the NEL concourse.

With both the DTL platform level and NEL concourse level on the same floor (Basement 2), passengers can smoothly transfer from Platform C (Only DTL) platform in use to the NEL concourse. However, when the DTL is extended to Expo in the future, passengers transferring to and from Platform D (Eastbound DTL) will have to ascend to Basement 1 and walk across the DTL concourse to reach the NEL concourse.

Retail shops are not present in this station. Finally, both NEL and DTL concourses have public toilets located in the unpaid area of the station.

NEL Art in Transit: “The Phoenix’s-Eye Domain” by Tan Swie Hian

This outstanding collection of artworks comprises a resplendent wall mural depicting the arrival of Singapore’s early Chinese immigrants and three sets of rhyming couplets in semi-cursive Chinese calligraphy. The richly coloured mural, featuring the mythical phoenix is located at concourse level while the poems are rendered as floor calligraphy at concourse and platform level.

DTL Art in Transit: “Flying Colours” by Cheo Chai-Hiang

Flying Colours attempts to translate the mundane hanging of clothes to dry on poles outside windows into one which is festive and celebratory. Created in a lenticular format, commuters will experience the subtle changes in colours, giving the illusion that the clothes are flying in the wind as if in transit. The artwork spans the concourse and leads commuters to the platforms.


Chinatown MRT station has five exits at ground level (A, C, D, E, F), with only exits C and F offering barrier-free accessibility for the disabled. An underground Exit G connects to the basement of Chinatown Point.

Exit Disabled access Location Nearby
A No Pagoda Street Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Chinatown Complex (Market and Food Centre),
Chinatown Heritage Centre, Chinatown Plaza, Chinatown Visitor Centre, CK Departmental Store, Coins & Notes Museum, Fairfield Methodist Church, Home Team NS Club House, Kreta Ayer Community Club, Lucky Chinatown, Masjid Jamae (Chulia), Ministry of National Development, Pagoda Street, Smith Street, Sri Layan Sithi Vinayagar Temple, Sri Mariamman Temple, Temple Street, Trengganu Street
C Yes People’s Park Complex OG Building, People’s Park Complex, The Majestic, Yue Hwa Building
D No People’s Park Centre Family Justice Courts, Furama City Centre & Shopping Centre, Havelock Square, Masjid Omar Kampung Melaka, Merchant Square, Ministry of Manpower Building, People’s Park Centre, Po Chiak Keng Temple, Riverside Piazza, State Courts
E No Chinatown Point Apollo Centre, Chinatown Point, Counselling and Care Centre, Fook Hai Building, Hong Lim Complex, Hong Lim Park, Kreta Ayer NPP, New Bridge Road, One Upper Pickering, Parkroyal on Pickering, Upper Cross Street
F Yes Hong Lim Complex Chinatown Point, China Square Central, Fook Hai Building, Gret Eastern Centre, Hong Lim Complex, Hong Lim Park, Marsh & Mclennan Centre, One Upper Pickering, One George Street, Parkroyal on Pickering, Telok Ayer Hong Lim Green Community Centre, Upper Cross Street
G Chinatown Point Basement access

Station Amenities

  • Public toilets at NEL, DTL concourse
  • Transitlink ticket office at NEL concourse
    Operating hours: Daily, 0800hrs – 2100hrs
    Closed between 1230hrs – 1300hrs for shift change and 1600hrs – 1700hrs for meal break

Safety Features

  • Emergency Train Stop buttons on the station platform, when activated, will prevent approaching trains from entering the station, and any train already stopped at the platform will be prevented from moving off.
  • Emergency telephones at station platforms and the intercom system inside the lifts enable commuters to communicate with station staff in the Passenger Service Centre.
  • Emergency door handles allow the platform doors to be opened manually from the train-side in the event of failure.
  • Fire Extinguishers in various locations
  • All escalators equipped with Emergency Stop buttons

Transport Connections

Chinatown station connects to several bus stops in the vicinity, as well as taxi stands and passenger pick-up points at selected exits.


There are five official bus stops linked to Chinatown station.

No. Bus stop Exit Bus Routes
B/s 1 05013 – Eu Tong Sen St (Chinatown Stn Exit C) C 2, 12, 12e, 33, 61, 63, 80, 143, 197, 961, 961#, 970, CT8, CT18
B/s 2 05049 – New Bridge Rd (Chinatown Pt) E 2, 12, 12e, 33, 54, 143, 147, 147e, 190, CT8, CT18
B/s 3 05022 – Eu Tong Sen St (Aft Chinatown Stn Exit D) D 54, 124, 145, 147, 147e, 166, 190, 851, 851e
B/s 4 05131 – Upp Cross St (Opp Hong Lim Cplx) F 51, 63, 124, 174, 174e, 186, 851, 851e, 961, 961#, 970
B/s 5 05199 – South Bridge Rd (Opp Hong Lim Cplx) F 61, 80, 145, 166, 197


Taxi stands and pick-up/drop-off points are located next to station exits:

Exit Road Provisions
A Mosque Street (Hse No. 50)
Temple Street (beside Lucky Chinatown)
Taxi stand
Taxi stand
D Upper Cross Street (outside OG Building) Taxi stand
E Chinatown Point driveway Taxi stand, pick-up/drop-off point
F Upper Cross Street (beside Blk 531 HDB CP entrance) Pick-up/drop-off point

Rail Bridging Services

In the event of a MRT service disruption affecting Chinatown station, rail bridging services (also called MRT breakdown shuttle buses) may be activated to ply affected stretches of the North East Line or Downtown Line. In which case, the buses can be boarded from the following bus stops:

Towards Bus stop Exit
North East Line
NE1CC29 HarbourFront B/s 2: 05049 – New Bridge Rd (Chinatown Pt) E
NE17PTC Punggol B/s 1: 05013 – Eu Tong Sen St (Chinatown Stn Exit C) C
Downtown Line
DT1BP6 Bukit Panjang B/s 1: 05013 – Eu Tong Sen St (Chinatown Stn Exit C) C
DT35CG1 Expo B/s 3: 05022 – Eu Tong Sen St (Aft Chinatown Stn Exit D) D

In addition, passengers can board regular bus services at bus stops officially linked to Chinatown station for free rides.

Passenger Usage Patterns

As an interchange station in the heart of the Chinatown cultural district, the station is well-utilized by many commuters heading in and out of the area, or transferring between the North East Line and Downtown Line. The station boasts an underground network of pedestrian walkways which brings much of the Chinatown district within convenient walking distance of the underground station. Various amenities in the vicinity include tourist attractions, shopping centres, offices and retail shops.


North East Line (NEL) Contract 709 for the Design and Construction of Chinatown Station was awarded to Gammon Construction – Econ Piling Joint-Venture (JV) on 23 June 1997 for S$141.5 million. The working name for Chinatown Station was People’s Park Station.

Downtown Line Stage 1 (DTL1) Contract 909 for the construction and completion of Chinatown Station and associated tunnels was awarded to Hong Kong company Gammon Construction Limited for approximately S$160.3 million.

Future Developments

Major Incidents


External Links & References

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