East West MRT Line

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MRT Singapore Destination 1.png MRT Singapore Destination 2.png MRT Singapore Destination 3.png
East West MRT Line
Laluan MRT Timur Barat
கிழக்கு மேற்கு எம்ஆர்டி வழி
MRT map EW.svg
The East West Line is coloured green on system maps.
Type Rapid transit
System Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)
Status Operational
Under Testing (Tuas West Extension)
Termini Pasir Ris
Joo Koon
Tuas Link (U/C)
Changi Airport
Tanah Merah
Stations 31
Services 4
Opened 12 December 1987 (as part of North South Line)
4 November 1989 (renamed as East West Line)
Owner Land Transport Authority
Operator(s) SMRT Trains (SMRT Corporation)
Character Elevated/Underground
Depot(s) Ulu Pandan
East Coast (future)
Rolling stock C151
C151B (Future)
C151C (Future)
Line length 49 km (30 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification 750 V DC Third rail
Operating speed limit of 80 km/h
Route map
 EW1  Pasir Ris
Tampines Expressway
Left arrow Bukit Panjang
 EW2  DT32  Tampines
Pan Island Expressway
 EW3  Simei
 CG2  Changi Airport
Downtown Line
Changi Airport Branch Line
 CG1  DT35  Expo
  Sungei Bedok Right arrow
Changi Depot
 EW4  Tanah Merah
 EW5  Bedok
 EW6  Kembangan
 EW7  Eunos
 EW8  CC9  Paya Lebar
Left arrow HarbourFront
  Dhoby Ghaut Right arrow
 EW9  Aljunied
 EW10  Kallang
Kallang River
 EW11  Lavender
Left arrow Bukit Panjang
  Sungei Bedok Right arrow
 EW12  DT14  Bugis
Left arrow Dhoby Ghaut
  HarbourFront Right arrow
Left arrow Jurong East
 EW13  NS25  City Hall
Singapore River
 EW14  NS26  Raffles Place
  Marina South Pier Right arrow
 EW15  Tanjong Pagar
Left arrow Sungei Bedok
Left arrow Punggol
  HarbourFront Right arrow
 EW16  NE3  TE17  Outram Park
Left arrow Woodlands North
 EW17  Tiong Bahru
 EW18  Redhill
 EW19  Queenstown
 EW20  Commonwealth
Left arrow Dhoby Ghaut
  HarbourFront Right arrow
 EW21  CC22  Buona Vista
 EW22  Dover
 EW23  Clementi
Ulu Pandan Depot
 EW24  NS1  Jurong East
Left arrow Marina South Pier
 EW25  Chinese Garden
 EW26  Lakeside
 EW27  Boon Lay
Boon Lay Extension
 EW28  Pioneer
 EW29  Joo Koon
 EW30  Gul Circle
 EW31  Tuas Crescent
 EW32  Tuas West Road
 EW33  Tuas Link
The East West Line is coloured green in the MRT system map.
Station names of the East-West Line.

The East West Line (EWL) is the second Mass Rapid Transit line in Singapore. The line is currently 49 kilometres (30 mi) long with 35 stations,[1] including four stations under construction and to be completed by the second quarter of 2017, known as the Tuas West Extension (TWE), making it the longest MRT line in Singapore. It currently takes about 70 minutes to travel from one end to the other (Pasir Ris to Joo Koon). The line is coloured green on MRT system maps.


As its name implies, the line connects central Singapore to both eastern and western parts of the island, with an additional branch to Changi Airport from Tanah Merah, which is operated as a separate shuttle service. There is a short tunnel between Kembangan and Bedok where the line ascends into the hill at Siglap, and there is a longer tunnel due to the space limitations between Kallang and Redhill. The line passes through the centre median of roads in Tanah Merah, Bedok, Queenstown, Commonwealth, Dover and Clementi. It takes commuters to stations near schools such as Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Polytechnic and places of interest like Jurong Bird Park and Science Centre, and skirts past the three rivers (Singapore River, Rochor River and Kallang River).

Originally, East West Line had a short-working trip that terminated at Tanah Merah after peak hours, easier to clear but was a rare case from 2011 to 2013 (after that all trains were running to fixed schedules). There was a through connection to the Changi Airport before it changed to a shuttle service from 22 July 2003.

EWL is currently the only line connecting east and downtown.


The East West Line is the second line to be built, when the City Hall to Outram Park segment was opened on 12 December 1987, with through services to Yio Chu Kang. It was extended to Clementi on 12 March 1988 and to Lakeside on 5 November 1988. Additionally, the eastern extension to Tanah Merah was opened on 4 November 1989 (when the current name was adopted to reflect the operational split from the North South Line), and to Pasir Ris on 16 December 1989. The last station of the original system, Boon Lay opened on 6 July 1990. On 18 October 2001 Dover station was opened, and then on 25 February 2002 the Expo and Changi Airport stations were opened. On 28 February 2009 the Pioneer and Joo Koon stations were officially opened to the public.

Tuas West Extension (TWE)[edit]

On 11 January 2011, the Tuas West Extension was announced. It is an extension of the East West Line from Joo Koon to Tuas Link. The stations — Gul Circle, Tuas Crescent, Tuas West Road and Tuas Link — will extend MRT connectivity to the Tuas area and is expected to serve more than 100,000 commuters daily.[2]

When completed by the middle of 2017,[3] the Tuas West Extension will be an extension of the East West Line from Joo Koon, consisting of a 7.5 km long twin-tracked MRT viaduct, four aboveground stations and a depot. The MRT viaduct is also integrated with part of a 4.8 km long road viaduct along Pioneer Road, which will increase the road capacity to cope with anticipated increase in traffic. A 26-hectare depot will also be built to provide stabling and maintenance facilities for the additional trains that will be bought for the extension and to cater for future expansion of the line.[4]

On 4 May 2012, the Land Transport Authority marked the start of construction of the Tuas West Extension with a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the future Tuas Link station.[2]It was later announced on 26 October 2016, that the stations will be opened in the second quarter of 2017 instead, so that the stations on the extension can take advantage of the new signalling system, which is being implemented on the North South and East West lines. It was then announced on 27 April 2017, the Tuas West Extension will open on 18 June 2017.[5][6]

Half-height platform screen door installations[edit]

There were calls for platform screen doors to be installed at above-ground stations after several incidents in which passengers were killed or seriously injured by oncoming trains when they fell onto the railway tracks at above-ground stations. Underground stations already featured the doors since 1987. The authorities initially rejected the proposal by casting doubts over functionality and concerns about the high installation costs,[7] but made an about-turn when the government announced plans to install half-height platform screen doors on the above-ground stations in January 2008, citing lower costs due to its becoming a more common feature worldwide.[8] They were first installed at Jurong East and Pasir Ris stations in 2009 as trial runs.[9] Installation of platform screen doors began at Clementi and Lakeside stations on April 2010. On 31 August 2011, the last station, Expo, began installation of half-height platform screen doors.[10]

Timeline of Stations Opened[edit]

Improvement works[edit]

Timber to concrete sleeper replacement works[edit]

Timber sleepers are designed to last 15 to 25 years, and they have to be replaced when they are near the end of their lifespan, or when they show signs of significant wear and tear. The new sleepers installed will allow trains to move along the tracks smoothly and without the current speed restrictions. In order to carry out works at night when trains are not operational, train services were ended earlier on the East West Line. The work is divided into three phases: Phase 1 (Bugis - Tanah Merah), Phase 2 (Joo Koon - Jurong East, Tanah Merah - Pasir Ris) and Phase 3 (Jurong East - Outram Park). The sleepers have been replaced on 18 Feb 2017.[11]

Resignalling works[edit]

A new signalling system, supplied by Thales, will replace the current ageing signalling system on the East West Line. The new signalling system, costing $195 million, will reduce waiting times for trains during peak periods from the current 120 seconds to 100 seconds.[12] The new system is expected to be operational by 2018. Existing MRT trains are also progressively being retrofitted with new equipment on board to be compatible with the new signalling system.[13]

Third-rail replacement[edit]

Replacement works on the third rail, which provides electricity to the trains, are ongoing. A new third rail is being installed to replace the current one in use since 1987 and this will increase reliability of the electrical system.[14]


7 July 2015 line disruption[edit]

During the evening peak hours on 7 July 2015, the NSEWL was completely shut down due to massive power trips detected. This was the worst breakdown in SMRT history and the first major breakdown for the East West Line. Investigations were completed and the cause narrowed down to damaged insulators which failed to supply power properly.[15] For this disruption that brought inconvenience to 413,000 commuters, LTA imposed a 'record' fine of S$5.4 million on SMRT.[16]

22 March 2016 staff fatalities[edit]

At around 11.10 am on 22 March 2016, two SMRT track-maintenance trainee staff were killed by a train approaching Pasir Ris MRT station at 60 km/h.[17] The two employees joined SMRT in January 2016 and worked as technicians. They were part of a technical team of 15 staff led by a supervisor and were asked to go down to the tracks to investigate an alarm triggered by a possible signalling equipment fault close by Pasir Ris station. The operator said the team had permission to access the tracks, but did not coordinate with a Signal Unit in Pasir Ris station to ensure trains could not travel in the area where the team was.[18] This incident resulted in a 2.5 hour service delay between Tanah Merah and Pasir Ris Stations, affecting at least 10,000 commuters.[19]

Patrick Nathan, SMRT Vice-president, promised that "SMRT will review all safety protocols particularly those involving track access".[20] SMRT chief executive Desmond Kuek apologised for the incident and said SMRT will investigate how "the [two men] got hit by the train".

On December 2 2016, SMRT was formally accused of failing to ensure that its employees complied with approved operating procedures when accessing the track, facing a fine of up to S$500,000. Teo Wee Kiat, SMRT's director of control operations, faces the same charge as SMRT. If convicted, Teo could be fined up to $200,000 and/or jailed for up to two years. Lim Say Heng, meanwhile, was yesterday charged with failing to ensure trains could not enter the track before the men accessed it. For causing death by committing a negligent act, he risks being fined or jailed for two years.

Investigations are still ongoing. [21]


Station Number Station Name Interchange/Notes
 EW1  Pasir Ris  
 EW2  DT32  Tampines Interchange with the  DTL  Downtown Line (2017)
 EW3  Simei  
 EW4  CG  Tanah Merah Cross-Platform Interchange with train services to  CG1  Expo or  CG2  Changi Airport
 EW5  Bedok  
 EW6  Kembangan  
 EW7  Eunos  
 EW8  CC9  Paya Lebar Interchange with the  CCL  Circle Line
 EW9  Aljunied  
 EW10  Kallang  
 EW11  Lavender  
 EW12  DT14  Bugis Interchange with the  DTL  Downtown Line
 EW13  NS25  City Hall Cross-Platform Interchange with the  NSL  North South Line
 EW14  NS26  Raffles Place Cross-Platform Interchange with the  NSL  North South Line
 EW15  Tanjong Pagar  
 EW16  NE3  TE17  Outram Park Interchange with the  NEL  North East Line and the  TEL  Thomson-East Coast Line (2021)
 EW17  Tiong Bahru  
 EW18  Redhill  
 EW19  Queenstown  
 EW20  Commonwealth  
 EW21  CC22  Buona Vista Interchange with the  CCL  Circle Line
 EW22  Dover  
 EW23  Clementi  
 EW24  NS1  Jurong East Cross-Platform Interchange with the  NSL  North South Line
 EW25  Chinese Garden  
 EW26  Lakeside  
 EW27  Boon Lay  
 EW28  Pioneer  
 EW29  Joo Koon  
Tuas West Extension (TWE) (opening on 18 June 2017)
 EW30  Gul Circle (under testing)
 EW31  Tuas Crescent (under testing)
 EW32  Tuas West Road (under testing)
 EW33  Tuas Link (under testing)
Changi Airport Branch Line (CAL)
 CG1  DT35  Expo Interchange with the  DTL  Downtown Line (2017)
 CG2  Changi Airport  

SMRT used to operate the branch sector of  EW4  CG Tanah Merah MRT Station to  CG2 Changi Airport as a through line from Boon Lay from 18 November 2001 until 22 July 2003, when it was replaced with a shuttle service. SMRT operates a through line from Joo Koon to Changi Airport only when train services are disrupted between Tanah Merah and Pasir Ris, with peak-hour trains being withdrawn at Tanah Merah.[22]

As with the Circle and Downtown MRT Lines announced earlier, the four stations along the Tuas West Extension were open for public consultation from 16 December 2011 to 15 January 2012. The finalised station names were announced on 13 April 2012.[23]

Rolling stock[edit]

Four batches of rolling stock are in service on the line, they are the C151s, the C651s, the C751Bs and the C151As. These trains operate from the two depots along the line, the Ulu Pandan Depot between Jurong East and Clementi, the Changi Depot near Tanah Merah and from 2016, the new Tuas Depot located near Tuas Checkpoint.

Train control[edit]

The East West Line is currently equipped with Westinghouse fixed block signalling system with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 2 (STO). The subsystems consist of Automatic train protection (ATP) to govern train speed, Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) to track and schedule trains and a Relay interlocking system that prevents incorrect signal and track points to be set.

The current signalling system is currently phasing out and will be replaced by a new Thales SelTrac® Communications-based train control (CBTC) moving block signalling system.[24]

The new signalling system is expected to be operational by 2018. Trains will run with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 3 (DTO).[25] The subsystems consist of automatic train protection (ATP) to govern train speed, NetTrac MT Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) to track and schedule trains and a Computer-based interlocking (CBI) system that prevents incorrect signal and track points from being set.

Automatic platform screen doors by Westinghouse were originally installed when the line opened, and Automatic Platform Screen Gates were later installed on elevated stations except for Tuas West Extensions stations, where they were manufactured by Fangda Group.


  1. ^ "East-West Line". Land Transport Authority. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Construction Starts for Tuas West Extension". Land Transport Authority. 4 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "Factsheet: Four New Stations on Tuas West Extension on Track for Completion by 2016 | Press Room | Land Transport Authority". www.lta.gov.sg. Retrieved 2016-05-15. 
  4. ^ "Speech (Part 1 – Public Transport) by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport, for COS 2012". 7 March 2012. Retrieved 12 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "Tuas West Extension Opens on 18 June 2017". Land Transport Authority. 27 April 2017. 
  6. ^ "Tuas West Extension MRT stations to open Jun 18". Channel NewsAsia. 27 April 2017. 
  7. ^ "Safety at MRT and LRT Stations — Respect The Yellow Line" (Press release). Land Transport Authority. 20 November 2005. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Platform screen doors for all above-ground MRT stations by 2012". The Straits Times. Singapore. 25 January 2008. Archived from the original on 28 January 2008. 
  9. ^ Yeo Ghim Lay (3 September 2008). "Platform doors for elevated MRT stations". The Straits Times. Singapore. p. 26. 
  10. ^ "Completion of Half Height Platform Screen Doors on East West Line" (Press release). Land Transport Authority. 31 August 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2015. 
  11. ^ Koh, Valerie (17 October 2015). "Phased early closure of East-West Line MRT stations from next month". Today. Singapore. Retrieved 3 March 2016. 
  12. ^ "LTA and SMRT Award Contracts for New Trains and Re-Signalling Project" (Press release). Land Transport Authority. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2016. 
  13. ^ Lim, Adrian (20 November 2015). "New MRT projects and upgrades to existing lines are on track, says LTA". The Straits Times. Singapore. Retrieved 3 March 2016. 
  14. ^ "Third Rail Replacement of the North-South East-West Line". The SMRT Blog. 15 December 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2016. 
  15. ^ Malinda, Kyle (22 August 2015). "Cause of massive NSEWL train disruption in July identified, says SMRT". Channel NewsAsia. Singapore. Retrieved 3 March 2016. 
  16. ^ "SMRT to be fined a record S$5.4m for July 7 MRT breakdown". Channel NewsAsia. Singapore. 23 September 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2016. 
  17. ^ Seow Bei Yi; Lim, Adrian; Driscoll, Shea (23 March 2016). "SMRT accident: 2 men were part of group of 15 led by supervisor and walking facing oncoming train". The Straits Times. Singapore. 
  18. ^ "SMRT acknowledges safety procedure not followed before fatal accident". Channel NewsAsia. Singapore. 23 March 2016. 
  19. ^ "2 SMRT staff dead in accident near Pasir Ris station". Channel NewsAsia. Singapore. 22 March 2016. Retrieved 24 March 2016. 
  20. ^ Lee Min Kok; Seow Bei Yi; Lim, Adrian (23 March 2016). "2 SMRT Staff killed in MRT accident were Singaporeans aged 24 and 26 and undergoing on-the-job training". The Straits Times. Singapore. 
  21. ^ "SMRT, 2 others charged over fatal track accident". The Straits Times. 2 December 2016. 
  22. ^ "Shuttle train service" (PDF). SMRT Corporation. July 2003. 
  23. ^ "Tuas West Extension station names finalised" (Press release). Land Transport Authority. 13 April 2012. 
  24. ^ "Thales awarded signalling contracts for Singapore North-South, East-West lines and Tuas West Extension" (Press release). Thales Group. 6 February 2012. 
  25. ^ http://www.uitp.org/sites/default/files/Metro%20automation%20-%20facts%20and%20figures.pdf

External links[edit]