Cross Island MRT line

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Cross Island Line
MRT map CR.svg
The Cross Island Line is coloured in light green.
Native nameLaluan MRT Rentas Pulau
குறுக்குத் தீவு மெட்ரோ வரி
TypeRapid transit
SystemMass Rapid Transit (Singapore)
StatusPlanned (Stage 1)
Under planning (other stages)
TerminiAviation Park
Bright Hill
Stations12 (Stage 1)
30 (overall)
Daily ridership600,000 (initial)
1,000,000 (long term)
Planned opening2029 (Stage 1)
2030 (other stages)
OwnerLand Transport Authority
CharacterFully Underground
Depot(s)Changi East
Line length50 km (31 mi) (approx.)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge

The Cross Island line (CRL) is an upcoming high capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line in Singapore. It is currently under planning[1] and will be the eighth MRT line when built.[2] The line will be coloured lime green on the rail map.

The full line when completed will begin from Changi, passing through Loyang, Pasir Ris, Hougang, Ang Mo Kio, Bukit Timah, Clementi, West Coast before terminating at Jurong Industrial Estate. The eastern leg of the line is expected to include a segment that branches out from Pasir Ris and extends into Punggol.[1] It will be the first line to have stations that cater to eight-car trains, but will operate with six-car trains initially.


The line was first announced by the Land Transport Authority on 17 January 2013.[3] Studies on the Cross Island line began in May 2013.[4]

On 25 January 2019, Singapore's transport minister, Khaw Boon Wan announced the alignment of the first phase of the line, consisting of 12 stations over 29 km. Construction for Phase 1 will begin in 2020 and is due for completion in 2029. A new 57-hectare depot located at Changi East was also announced.[5]


Initially targeted to be completed by 2030, CRL will offer east–west commuters an alternative to the existing East West line and Circle line. It will also connect to all the other major lines to serve as a key transfer line, complementing the role currently fulfilled by the orbital Circle line.[6]

Besides linking residents to jobs, the line will serve the upcoming "creative cluster and learning corridor" in Punggol, which will include the Singapore Institute of Technology's new campus.

In addition to the previously announced alignment of the CRL, the LTA is studying an extension to link the CRL to the future Changi Airport Terminal 5.[7][8]


Cross Island MRT Line
Changi East Depot
Aviation Park
Pasir Ris East
  Tuas Link Right arrow
 CR5  EW1 
Pasir Ris
Tampines North
Left arrow  Punggol Coast –  HarbourFront Right arrow
 CR8  NE14 
Serangoon North
 CR11  NS16 
Ang Mo Kio
Left arrow  Jurong East –  Marina South Pier Right arrow
Teck Ghee
 CR13  TE7 
Bright Hill
Left arrow  Woodlands North –  Sungei Bedok Right arrow

Notes: Names stated are working names, except for current operational stations.

Station Number Station Name Interchange/Notes
Stage 1 (planned, to be ready by 2029)
 CR2  Aviation Park
 CR3  Loyang
 CR4  Pasir Ris East
 CR5  EW1  Pasir Ris Interchange with the East West line
 CR6  Tampines North
 CR7  Defu
 CR8  NE14  Hougang Interchange with the North East line
 CR9  Serangoon North
 CR10  Tavistock
 CR11  NS16  Ang Mo Kio Interchange with the North South line
 CR12  Teck Ghee
 CR13  TE7  Bright Hill Interchange with the Thomson–East Coast line

The Cross Island line's numbering scheme reserves station code "CR1" for a future extension towards Changi Airport.[9][1]

Alignment controversy[edit]

Central catchment area in Singapore

Since its announcement on 17 January 2013, there has been a controversy over the alignment of the line's Bukit Timah stretch as it appears to cut through part of the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR) and MacRitchie Reservoir, hence prompting the Nature Society Singapore to call for a change in the alignment of the line, although the Land Transport Authority insisted that the alignment of the line was not finalised as soil investigations and feasibility studies have yet to be conducted. An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was commissioned to study the impact the line would have on the natural habitats of the reserve. Various stakeholders, including nature and environmental groups, were engaged and consulted to ensure that their views and concerns are accommodated as part of the Environmental Impact Assessment.

On 19 July 2013, the NSS has put forward, in a position paper, two proposed alternative alignments for this stretch of the Cross Island line. The LTA claims that none of the trees or plants (vegetation) above the ground will be affected.[10]

The proposed alignments include a northern route that would run close to the Thomson–East Coast line, heading west towards Mandai, Sungei Kadut and Gali Batu before terminating at Choa Chu Kang, which will be an interchange to the North South line, Bukit Panjang LRT and the upcoming Jurong Region line. The other route will run along Lornie Road and was cited to "add 1.7 kilometres to 2 kilometres to the Cross Island Line, and an estimated four minutes' additional travel time. It would present an opportunity to serve residents near Adam Road and visitors to the MacRitchie Reservoir Park", running almost parallel to the stretch of the Circle line from Marymount to Botanic Gardens. However, engineers noted that "it may still be possible to construct the tunnels along the original proposed route without disturbing the nature reserve, but this must be examined in detail" and that a "straight rail line is better and cheaper from the engineering and operations point of view".[11]

On 24 February 2014, the LTA called for a tender to assess the environmental impact of the line, targeted for completion by 2016. The study will help to facilitate in the subsequent civil works for the line.[12]

On 3 July 2014, LTA appointed Environmental Resources Management (S) Pte Ltd (ERM) to conduct the EIA for the section of the line around and through the nature reserve. The work started immediately and targeted to complete in 2016. The works will include studying the ecosystem and physical conditions along both the straight and skirting alignments, as well as assessing how construction and operation of the line would affect the CCNR.[13] The LTA is still studying all options and the final alignment will only be announced near the completion date.

On 19 October 2017, the soil tests for determining the CRL's alignment along the CCNR were announced to be nearing completion.The soil tests will help engineers determine the soil and rock profile under Singapore's largest nature reserve, started in February and have been watched closely, especially by environmental groups who are urging the Government not to build the MRT line under the Central Catchment Nature Reserve. "The works are expected to be completed by the end of this year," said the LTA.[14]

On 20 March 2018, the LTA declared that the release of the findings on the environmental impact of drilling and other initial works that have been done to assess if the Cross Island MRT line can be built under the Central Catchment Nature Reserve would be completed later that year. The investigation works, which were completed in 2017, will help in the final decision on the alignment of the CRL.[15]


  1. ^ a b c "Speech by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport, at visit to DTL1 Chinatown Station, 17 January 2013, 9.30am at DTL1 Chinatown Station". Ministry of Transport. 17 January 2013. Archived from the original on 20 February 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Two New Rail Lines and Three New Extensions to Expand Rail Network by 2030". Land Transport Authority. 17 January 2013. Archived from the original on 6 July 2014.
  3. ^ "More new MRT lines to be built by 2030". The Straits Times. January 17, 2013.
  4. ^ "Studies for Cross Island Line to Start". The Straits Times. 2017-11-04.
  5. ^ Tan, Christopher (25 January 2019). "First phase of Cross Island MRT line finalised; will have 12 stations". The Straits Times. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  6. ^ Musfirah, Hetty (17 January 2013). "S'pore to have two new MRT lines by 2030". Channel NewsAsia. Archived from the original on 18 January 2013.
  7. ^ "The Rail Report: Higher Reliability and Expanded Network in 2017 | Press Room | Land Transport Authority". Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  8. ^ "Changi's T5 likely to be served by 2 MRT lines". The Straits Times. March 6, 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  9. ^ Tan, Christopher (25 January 2019). "First phase of Cross Island MRT line finalised; will have 12 stations". The Straits Times. Retrieved January 25, 2019.
  10. ^ "Discussion and Position Paper" (PDF). Nature Society (Singapore). 18 July 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Nature Society proposes alternative route for Cross Island line". TODAYOnline. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  12. ^ Lim, Adrian (25 February 2014). "LTA to suss out new MRT line's green impact". AsiaOne. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  13. ^ "Environmental Resources Management to Assess Environmental Impact of Cross Island Line". Land Transport Authority. 4 July 2014. Archived from the original on 15 July 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  14. ^ "Soil tests for MRT line in nature reserve mostly complete". The Straits Times. October 19, 2017. Retrieved 2017-10-23.
  15. ^ "Cross Island Line: Findings of site investigation works to be released". The Straits Times. 20 March 2018.

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