Kim Chuan Depot

Kim Chuan Depot
Artists Impression
Depot entrance
Location 11 Kim Chuan Road, Singapore 537065
Lines Served   Circle Line
Operator SMRT
Type Underground
Rolling Stock C830, C830C
Opened 2008

Kim Chuan MRT Depot (or KCD) is an underground MRT train depot serving the Circle Line (CCL), touted as the world’s biggest underground depot. Between 2013 and 2015, the depot also served the Downtown Line (DTL). It is operated by SMRT.

The depot situated in Tai Seng, covering an area of 110,000 square metres, and is bordered by Kim Chuan Road, Upper Paya Lebar Road, Bartley Road East and Hougang Avenue 3. It contains maintenance facilities and stabling areas for the Circle Line, and ancillary facilities such as a train wash, paint shop, locomotive workshop, goods lifts, and an automatic storage and retrieval system, which was the tallest underground automated warehouse system in Singapore when constructed.

Kim Chuan Depot is also the site of SMRT’s Rail Operations Centre, which combines the operations control centres of the North South Line, East West Line and Circle Line under one roof.

Kim Chuan Depot was gradually expanded following its opening, with the small Tai Seng Facility Building opening in 2013. A far larger Kim Chuan Depot Extension (or KCDE) to be completed in 2025 will more than double the capacity of the existing Kim Chuan Depot.

Construction

Contract 821 (C821) for the initial construction of Kim Chuan Depot was awarded to Hock Lian Seng Infrastructure Ltd at a contract sum of S$297 million. Most of the depot is underground: at 800 metres in length, 160 metres in width and 23 metres in height, built at a depth of between 18-22 metres below ground level.

The depot is serviced by a two-storey surface building located at Kim Chuan Road, near the junction of Paya Lebar Road, where administrative offices are located. It also functions as the primary access point into the depot, with passenger and cargo lifts connecting to the lower levels. For oversized deliveries, such as the delivery of train cars, a vehicular access ramp is located along Kim Chuan Road (next to Hougang Avenue 3). Ventilation buildings and emergency stairs are also located around the depot site.

A total of four reception tracks connect Kim Chuan Depot to the Circle Line. Situated between Tai Seng and Bartley station along the CCL, 2 tracks head southbound towards Tai Seng (clockwise loop) while 2 tracks head northbound towards Bartley (counterclockwise loop).

Downtown Line initial use

Prior to the opening of the Downtown Line (Stage 1) between Bugis and Chinatown, Kim Chuan Depot (KCD) was used for the delivery of Downtown Line trains and as a temporary stabling facility until the completion of Tai Seng Facility Building (TSFB), where the new facility took over the stabling of trains. When the Downtown Line (Stage 1) opened in December 2013, its temporary Operations Control Centre (OCC) was situated in KCD. Administrative offices and other facilities were shared with SBS Transit staff. Both KCD and TSFB were used to perform maintenance on DTL trains.

As reception tracks east of TSFB (which were part of DTL Stage 3) had not been constructed yet, DTL trains made use of CCL tracks between Kim Chuan Depot and Bayfront. However, due to the incompatibility of signalling equipment installed on both lines, DTL trains had to be towed by locomotive between TSFB and Bayfront, a process which only took place during engineering hours at night. Light maintenance work was instead carried out at the Marina Bay Temporary Maintenance Facility (MBTMF), which was an additional siding at Marina Bay station purposed for maintenance work.

The use of KCD to support DTL operations ceased in 2015, after the opening of the Downtown Line (Stage 2), where Gali Batu Depot became the main depot for Downtown Line trains. The OCC for DTL was also relocated to Gali Batu Depot.

Tai Seng Facility Building

Main article: Tai Seng Facility Building

Purpose built to support Downtown Line (Stage 3) operations, the facility is located east of KCD. Both underground depot facilities are connected by a single reception track. An additional 2 more reception tracks were built as part of the Downtown Line 3, with 1 track heading eastbound towards Bedok North station and 1 track heading westbound towards Ubi station.

NSEWL Operations Control

Starting from Sunday, 19 March 2019, SMRT completed the relocation of the NSEWL Operation Control Centre (OCC) from New Bridge Road, as well as the Maintenance Operations Centre (MOC) from Bishan Depot, integrating them into Kim Chuan Depot and right next to the existing Circle Line OCC, forming the Integrated Operations Control Hub (SMRT Trains Rail Operations Centre). By bringing the control centres under one roof, SMRT aimed to pursue a holistic approach to planning, implementing, operating and maintaining its rail network.

With this move, along with the relocation of SMRT’s headquarters to Paya Lebar Quarter, SMRT’s premises at New Bridge Road would be returned to the LTA for future development.

Kim Chuan Depot Expansion
Kim Chuan Depot Expansion
Kim Chuan Depot Extension

By 2025, Kim Chuan Depot would be expanded to almost double its capacity from 70 to 133 trains. The 16-hectare integrated depot building will also house a multi-storey bus depot at surface level on top of the underground rail depot for optimised land use. Contract 821A (C821A) for the construction of Kim Chuan Depot Extension (KCDE) was awarded to Woh Hup (Private) Limited for S$1,211.74 million in September 2017.

To make way for excavation work, part of the existing bus park at Hougang Bus Depot had to be demolished. The Depot was expanded towards the North and East to compensate for lost parking space at the South end of the depot.

Rolling stock:

Kim Chuan Depot maintains C830 and C830C trains for the Circle Line. It previously maintained C951 trains for the Downtown Line.


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