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Kim Chuan Underground Depot


Market Sector

Rail and Transit


Stations, Yards and Terminals

Services Provided

Architecture, Construction Engineering and Inspection, Design, Planning, Program Management, Structural Engineering


Asia Pacific

In The News

T.Y. Lin International was selected by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority to provide civil and structural engineering services for the Kim Chuan Depot. The depot, which came in at a construction cost of US$236.8 million ($296.5 million SGD), is the first underground train depot in the world and one of the largest depot facilities ever constructed.

The Kim Chuan Depot accommodates stabling and maintenance facilities for Singapore’s mass transit system, including the Circle Line (CCL) and Eastern Region Line (ERL), and has a stabling capacity of 70 trains. Both lines operate using an automatic driverless train system. The depot encompasses an area of more than 120,000 square yards (100,000 square meters) and houses all train system operations, including operational and depot control, administration, staff and training facilities, and maintenance.

At over .62 miles (1km) long in the east-west direction and approximately 492 feet (150m) wide at mid-point, the depot is situated 66 feet (20 meters) below ground at track level. The Kim Chuan Depot site is bordered by Kim Chuan Road to the south, Bartley Road Expressway reserve to the north, Upper Paya Lebar Road to the west, and Hougang Avenue 3 to the east.

CCL trains enter and leave the west end of the depot, while trains from the ERL enter and leave at the east end. The depot is accessed by a branch line of trackworks, some of which are .62 miles (1km) long. These lines can be controlled directly from the Depot Control Center to as far as the depot boundaries.

Project Highlights:

  • The Kim Chuan Depot is the first underground train depot in the world.
  • Value engineering was carried out on the original design, which resulted in a change from a two-level to a single-level stabling facility. This involved adjusting the layout of all workshops, rooms and facilities as well as the realignment of all trackworks.
  • The net savings included a reduction in built-up areas, as well as a reduction in volume in terms of the construction and engineering and maintenance operating costs. The US$79.9 million ($100 million SGD) cost savings did not compromise the envisioned capabilities of the depot.
  • The adoption of the air well concept allowed ingress of fresh air for stabling areas. The air wells were created along the northern and southern perimeters and, together with the single-level stabling concept, greatly simplified the fire engineering approach for an underground depot.

Services Provided:

  • Lead Consultant - Spearhead, plan and manage the Architectural and Engineering (A/E) Consultancy Services to produce a complete depot design, with a detailed layout for all workshops, rooms and other facilities, including all aspects of system operation and maintenance
  • Civil & Structural (C&S) Engineering Consultancy Services.
Best Design Infrastructure–Project Partner, 2010
Land Transport Authority (LTA)