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Sentosa Express to replace old monorail system


Sentosa Express: A ground-breaking start

Heralding a key milestone in Sentosaís long-term rejuvenation programme to transform the resort island into a world-class leisure destination, Sentosa has started work on a light rail system that will provide visitors with seamless and efficient connections to and through the island in comfort.
The $140-million air-conditioned Sentosa Express is the islandís biggest infrastructure investment to date. It is an integral part of the strategy to enhance the islandís transport system and will significantly improve Sentosaís access from all corners of Singapore.
Since 1972, when Sentosa started being developed as a resort destination, the island has seen a six-fold increase in visitors to a record 4.123 million visitors last fiscal year. And to gear up for the expected eight million visitors annually when the islandís redevelopment projects are completed in 2012, improvements to the islandís transport access will better support incoming developments on Sentosa.
The islandís transport network has evolved since the early days when the only way to get to Sentosa was by the ferry and cable car. When the 710-metre long causeway-bridge opened for land access in 1992, it offered a vital and direct link to Singapore. With the new Sentosa Express, travelling to Sentosa promises to be so convenient that it will become the main mode of visitor access.
"The Sentosa Express connecting the HarbourFront MRT Station to Sentosa will give a whole new experience to the sense of arrival to the island. Soon, we can bring visitors practically hassle-free from their doorstep in any part of Singapore right into Sentosa," said Darrell Metzger, Sentosaís Chief Executive Officer, at the ground-breaking ceremony. "This is part of our continual initiatives to make more customer-focused improvements as we redevelop and revamp Sentosa."
When it becomes operational in 2006, visitors can easily transfer from the North-East MRT Line at HarbourFront Station onto the Sentosa Express, which will bring them directly into the island in well under four minutes.
Optimistic that this will in turn attract investors and business partners to Sentosa, Director of Property Gurjit Singh said, "Good access is a key issue in providing the right business climate for the islandís potential investors, and the Sentosa Express will actively and positively address this issue. Upgrading the islandís infrastructure will serve as a springboard to attract future private sector investments."
Elevated on 2-way tracks and encompassing a 2.15km-route, the new Sentosa Express will be a driver-operated, fully computerized system with a capacity to carry 3,000 passengers per hour in each direction. Plying through four stations, it will start from the new HarbourFront MRT Station and continue across the Sentosa Causeway-Bridge to reach three other stations located at strategic points servicing key activity areas, namely:-
  • the Northern Entertainment Precinctís Arrival Plaza
  • the Central Green Hub
  • the Southern Beaches
From these areas, visitors can easily connect onto various modes of transport to get to the various parts of the island and beaches. The current monorail on the island Ė which will have served the island for 23 years Ė is scheduled to be dismantled by 2005* to make way for this more efficient and comfortable system.
Undertaking the build-and-design contract of Sentosa Express is Hitachi Asia Ltd, the Japanese company behind several other successful rail systems such as the one in Tokyo Disneyland Resort and the Tokyo Monorail, currently operating from Haneda Airport.
"The construction of the Sentosa Express is the result of a win-win partnership between Sentosa and Hitachi," says Mr Shunsuke Ohtsu, Managing Director of Hitachi Asia, Ltd. "The Sentosa Express will enhance Sentosaís transport system and access to the island, and at the same time showcases Hitachiís best-of-breed monorail systems for which it is world-renowned."
Ground works on the Sentosa Express kicked off on 5 Jun 2003 at a simple ground-breaking ceremony held at the East Mall next to the Fountain Gardens. By 2006, the new rail system will seamlessly link Sentosa to the new North-East Line at HarbourFront MRT station.
More..... (Factsheet)

Source: Sentosa Media Release 5 Jun 2003

*The existing Monorail system closes on Tuesday 15 Mar 2005.
Related Article:
- New high-tech monorail on Sentosa opens in January 2007


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12 March 2005