The next time you take the train, listen out. SMRT has rolled out new chimes to announce the arrival and departure of trains in a three-month pilot that started on October 29.
For now, the tunes can only be heard on selected trains and MRT station platforms along the North-South Line, East-West Line, and Circle Line. And they're not a mere treat for the ears, of course. The purpose of the tunes are to help the visually impaired to determine train direction, arrivals, and departures.
If you find the melodies familiar though, it's because they're based on local folk songs. Local non-profit charity The Teng Company worked to develop the chimes, taking inspiration from the Chinese children's tune San Lun Che (The Trishaw), the Malay folk song Chan Mali Chan, and a Tamil National Day piece composed and arranged by Shabir Sulthan. According to a LinkedIn post by The Teng Company, these songs were deliberately chosen to foster stronger multi-racial identity.
Keen to hear the station chimes for yourself? Here's where you can find them:
Stations and trains:
- East-West Line: Tanah Merah, Expo, Changi Airport
- Circle Line: Bayfront, Promenade, Nicoll Highway, Stadium
- North-South Line: Orchard, Somerset, Dhoby Ghaut