December 4, 2006
Sentosa Express: Fast Tracking to Singapore’s Island Resort
- On-schedule completion of Sentosa’s largest infrastructural project to date
- Visitors can look forward to taking this new high-tech monorail into the island by January 2007
Singapore, 4th December 2006: Getting to Sentosa will soon be a breeze when the new $140-million Sentosa Express goes into full operation from January 2007. Visitors will be able to conveniently transfer from the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) network at HarbourFront MRT Station to Sentosa’s modern high-tech train system, which will bring them directly into the island’s first station in just three minutes.
In a simple handover ceremony today, officiated by Minister of State for Trade and Industry Mr S Iswaran, Sentosa Island will receive the completed monorail system from manufacturer Hitachi Asia Ltd. An estimated 200 guests will join Mr Iswaran for a preview ride from VivoCity into the island onboard four brightly-coloured trains illustrated with images depicting the island’s essence and spirit.
A key milestone in Sentosa’s rejuvenation programme to transform the resort island into a world-class leisure destination, the Sentosa Express is integral to enhancing the island’s transport system. The island’s 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 to vehicular access in 1992, it offered a vital and direct link to Singapore. With the new Sentosa Express becoming a key mode of visitor access, travelling to Sentosa will be more convenient and efficient.
“As we redevelop and revamp the island in tandem with our customer-focused improvements, this new monorail will significantly improve Sentosa’s access from all corners of Singapore.” said Darrell Metzger (达尔 梅茨格), Sentosa’s Chief Executive Officer. “Its completion marks our largest infrastructural project since 2002 when we started delivering our master plan vision to make the island more integrated and easily accessible.”
Since 1972 when Sentosa was being developed as a resort destination, Sentosa has seen an eight-fold increase in arrivals to a record of 5.2 million visitors for the last fiscal year. And to gear up for over eight million annual visitors by 2010 when major developments including the upcoming Sentosa Integrated Resort (IR) are completed, the enhanced public transport access will better support the needs of the island.
Starting from Sentosa Station located on the third level of VivoCity, the driver-operated Sentosa Express runs on an elevated 2-way track along a 2.1km-route to the island’s key activity points. Equipped with Hitachi’s advanced monorail technology, the system is computerised to ensure the smooth running of the trains. A central control centre oversees the system’s operations. The system can carry 3,000 passengers per hour in each direction. The stations are:
- Sentosa Station (at VivoCity)
- Waterfront Station (within the upcoming Sentosa Integrated Resort site)
- Imbiah Station (next to The Merlion with convenient access to the attractions at Imbiah Lookout – Images of Singapore, Sentosa Luge, Sky Tower, Sentosa 4D Magix & Butterfly Park)
- Beach Station (above the Beach Carpark)
Other than the Waterfront Station which will be operational only when the Sentosa IR is ready, the Sentosa Express will call at two stations on the island. From these stations, visitors can easily connect to the island’s buses and beach trams to get to the various parts of the island. The design and development of the Sentosa Express is undertaken by Hitachi which is also behind several other successful rail systems such as the one in Tokyo Disneyland Resort and the Tokyo Monorail, currently operating from Haneda Airport.
“Hitachi Asia is delighted to play a key role in providing our advanced monorail expertise for Sentosa. The Sentosa Express uses the most sophisticated electronic components found in Hitachi’s fleet of bullet trains in Japan. Besides providing a seamless connection in and around the island, the Sentosa Express is an energyefficient and convenient mode of transportation running on environmentally-friendly structures.” said Mr Toshio Toda (户田 俊男), Managing Director of Hitachi Asia Ltd.
Added Darrell Metzger, “As a result of a great working partnership between Sentosa and Hitachi Asia, we are able to complete the Sentosa Express on schedule and budget. We are delighted to be working with a company known for their delivery of high standards and advanced technology in the area of leisure transport.”
Following the delivery of the trains, the Sentosa team will conduct a month of ticketing trials before opening the system to the public. In keeping with Sentosa’s policy to keep island admission affordable, entry by the Sentosa Express will be priced at $3.00 (adult/child), no change from the current admission by the Sentosa bus. This includes travel on the Sentosa Express within the island on the same day.
Island entry charges by other modes of transport such as the cable car, taxis and private cars remain unchanged.
NEW! Contactless Sentosa Pass to replace current ticketing system
With the commencement of the Sentosa Express in January 2007, the current ticketing system will be replaced by a new Sentosa Pass for admission and transportation to the resort island. It will be used subsequently for admission to other attractions, the island’s food and beverage amenities as well as retail outlets.
The Sentosa Pass is a contactless smart access card which acts as a stored card to electronically programme the guest’s admission purchases and promotions offered. To utilise the items in the card, the guest simply taps the card at card readers to gain entry to the attraction or enjoy the promotions at the food, beverage and retail outlets. Guests can also purchase cost-saving attractions packages that include the Sentosa Express rides. With this smart access card, the guest will just need to carry a single card to visit the attractions and enjoy convenient travel between the stations.
Each Sentosa Pass card contains a 2Kbits memory contactless memory chip with data flexibility that provides greater convenience for the guests and enables Sentosa to understand their needs and preferences better to help manage the island’s resources more efficiently.
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