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Bishan MRT station (NS17/CC15) is a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) interchange station along the North South Line and Circle Line in Bishan, Singapore.

The North South Line platforms are the only sub-surface MRT platforms in the entire network.

Opened in November 1987, Bishan station is one of the five stations that collectively make up Singapore's oldest MRT stations.

History

The original NSL island platform in 2006
The platform in 2017, which now serves northbound trains only. The southbound tracks are behind the wall on the right, served by a newly constructed platform.

The contract to build San Teng MRT station was awarded to a Belgian and Singaporean joint venture on 16 December 1983. This SGD$32,882,507 contract, the first involving cut and cover construction awarded by the MRT Corporation, also includes 3.2 kilometres of tunnels between San Teng MRT station and Braddell MRT station.[2]

On 21 September 1984, the MRT Corporation renamed San Teng station to Bishan station to reflect the name of the new housing estate that was being built around this MRT station.[1]

Northbound tracks towards Ang Mo Kio station.

Bishan MRT station was completed on 23 October 1985 and opened on 7 November 1987, one of the oldest station on the Singapore's MRT system.

On 28 July 2004, a 31 year old accountant died after falling on the track in front of an oncoming train at this station, disrupting train services on the northbound MRT line for an hour.[3][4] Another such incident happened to an elderly man on 15 September.[5]

Major alterations were performed on the original North South Line station to be linked to the Circle Line. A new air-conditioned southbound platform to serve the southbound trains (heading towards Marina South Pier) was officially opened by the then Minister for Transport, Mr Raymond Lim on 27 July 2008, a few days before National Day.[6] The original platform is now dedicated to only northbound train services (heading towards Jurong East). A wall now separates the southbound tracks and the northbound platform, and southbound train doors no longer open on the right towards the old platform. The northbound platform was also upgraded with air conditioning and full height platform screen doors where train doors open on the right, and was officially completed on 22 May 2009.

Due to the close proximity of a nearby tunnel portal to residential apartment blocks, the construction of a two-metre tall barriers stretching 180 metres in length started in September 2011 and was completed by the second quarter of 2012. It is insulated with noise absorptive materials such as rock wool.[7]

On 7 October 2017, water got into a section of the tunnel from Bishan to Braddell MRT stations during the heavy downpour in the afternoon, which disrupted train services along 13 stations on the North-South Line for several hours. This case of water entering MRT tunnels is believed to be the first time it has affected train service along the NSL. Separately, at about 5.55pm, a small fire was spotted trackside in the tunnel between Marina Bay and Raffles Place MRT station, but it has died down by itself. It is not clear if it is linked to the flood, although electrical short circuits caused by water had sparked tunnel fires before.[8][9] Train services between Marina South Pier and Newton were restored on the day itself at about 9.20pm. Train services between Newton and Ang Mo Kio were fully resumed at around 2pm the following day after overnight efforts to clear the water in the tunnel, after nearly 21 hours of service disruption, being one of the worst in SMRT's history.[10] It was revealed that the overflowing in the tunnel was caused by a malfunction in the water pumping system, which has since been repaired.[11]

Art in Transit

The Circle Line section of this station displays the Art in Transit artwork Move!. There are three murals created by Soh Ee Shaun depicting landmarks that residents of the Bishan area identify with.

Cultural impact

Being located on the site of the Peck San Theng cemetery, the station is rumoured to be haunted, and has been the subject of several Singaporean urban legends, as well as the site for alleged ghost encounters. A 1988 article in The New Paper mentioned rumoured sightings of headless ghosts at the station.[12]

The Sunday Times ran an article debunking an urban legend associated with the station, along with an article featuring an account by a passenger who claimed that, while riding on a train passing through the station one morning in the early 1990s, she was groped by several unseen hands before passing out. She was later revived by fellow passengers.[13] There are also other alleged encounters of ghosts and other entities by several passengers in and around the station, such as headless figures, footsteps coming from the roof of the train, and phantom passengers who do not cast reflections on the train windows.

References

  1. ^ a b "Six stations are renamed and others moved". The Straits Times. 21 September 1984. p. 10. 
  2. ^ "Two MRT contracts worth $96m awarded". The Straits Times. Singapore. 16 December 1983. 
  3. ^ "Bishan MRT Death". The New Paper. 29 July 2004. 
  4. ^ Teck Hian, Wee (29 July 1994). "Death at Bishan Station disrupt services". TODAY. 
  5. ^ "MRT incident hits services". TODAY. 16 September 2004. 
  6. ^ "New Platform at Bishan Station ready". The Starita Times. 26 July 2008. 
  7. ^ "LTA to study noise levels along elevated MRT tracks". Channel NewsAsia. 2011-06-14. 
  8. ^ "Water in the tunnel, trackside fire caused train disruption on NSL: SMRT". Channel Newsasia. 8 October 2017. 
  9. ^ "NSL disruption: Train services between Ang Mo Kio and Newton will not be available until earliest Sunday". The Straits Times. 7 October 2017. 
  10. ^ "NSL disruption: No train services between Ang Mo Kio, Newton 'till further notice', says SMRT". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2017-10-08. 
  11. ^ "NSL disruption: Malfunctioning water pumping system resulted in flooded MRT tunnel, says LTA". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2017-10-08. 
  12. ^ Abdul Hadhi (17 October 1988). "Where are the ghosts?". The New Paper. p. 3. Retrieved 13 May 2016 – via NewspaperSG. 
  13. ^ Mun San, Mak (17 April 2005). "Is Bishan MRT 'unclean'?". The Straits Times. p. 4. Retrieved 14 May 2016 – via NewspaperSG. 

External links