Thomson–East Coast MRT line
Thomson–East Coast Line
|Native name||Malay: Laluan MRT Thomson-Pantai Timur|
Tamil: தாம்சன் - ஈஸ்ட் கோஸ்ட் எம்ஆர்டி வழி
|Status||Operational (Stages 1-2)|
Under construction (Stages 3–5)
Under planning (extension to Changi Airport)
|Owner||Land Transport Authority|
Caldecott (till 2022)
|Stations||32 (9 operational, 23 under construction)|
|System||Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)|
|Operator(s)||SMRT Trains Ltd (SMRT Corporation)|
East Coast (Future)
|Daily ridership||28,517 (July 2020)|
|Planned opening||2022 (Stage 3)|
2024 (Stage 4)
2025 (Stage 5)
2027 (Founders' Memorial MRT station)
2040 (extension to Changi Airport)
|Opened||31 January 2020 (Stage 1)|
28 August 2021 (Stage 2)
|Line length||17.2 km (10.7 mi) (Operational)|
25.8 km (16.0 mi) (Under construction)
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8+1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
|Electrification||750 V DC Third Rail|
|Operating speed||90 km/h (56 mph)|
The Thomson–East Coast Line (TEL) is a medium-capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line in Singapore. Coloured brown on the rail map, it is fully underground and, when complete, will serve 32 stations over 43 kilometres (27 mi) in length, becoming one of the world's longest driverless rapid transit lines. It runs along a combined north–south and east–west corridor, starting in the north at Woodlands town, passing through Upper Thomson and the towns of Ang Mo Kio and Bishan, before heading south to Orchard Road and Marina Bay, then running eastwards along the east coast through Kallang, Marine Parade and Bedok South, before ending at Upper East Coast.
The line was announced by the Land Transport Authority on 15 August 2014, merging the previously planned Thomson (TSL) and Eastern Region (ERL) lines. By then, construction of the Thomson Line had begun in January 2014. The line is set to be opened in 5 stages, with stage 1 (from Woodlands North to Woodlands South stations) which opened on 31 January 2020, stage 2 (from Springleaf to Caldecott stations) opened on 28 August 2021 and further stages up to stage 5 (from Bedok South to Sungei Bedok stations) opening between 2022 and 2025. In January 2019, an infill station Founders' Memorial station was announced, with the LTA considering to integrate the Changi Airport Branch into the TEL. When fully opened, it is expected to serve about 500,000 commuters daily in the initial years, rising to one million commuters daily in the long term. It is the fourth MRT line to be operated by SMRT Trains Ltd and also the fourth to be completely automated and driverless. The line is currently served by Mandai Depot, with another depot East Coast Integrated Depot opening in 2025, and services are operated by CT251 trains.
New signage was introduced to all the stations along the Thomson-East Coast Line, which will see less text and more illustration instead. Moreover, all the MRT lines are now represented by their initials while the exits are represented numerically.
The Thomson Line was first announced on 25 January 2008. Several architectural and engineering consultancy packages were released in 2010 which indicated an increase in the number of stations from 18 in the initial announcement to the current 22 and length of the line from 27 to 30 km (17 to 19 mi).
On 16 June 2011, the Land Transport Authority announced the location of the depot for the line, which was due to begin construction at the end of 2012. It also announced Woodlands as an interchange with the existing North South Line and an additional station located near to Republic Polytechnic.
On 29 August 2012, it was announced the Thomson Line's deadline was pushed back to 2019 onwards instead of the indicative timeline of 2018 announced in the Land Transport Masterplan. On 19 September 2019, the line's deadline was pushed back to January 2020.
Construction of the Thomson line began in January 2014.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place on 27 June that year at Woodlands. All the working station names were confirmed as the final names except for Sin Ming station which was changed to Bright Hill.
In addition, a station box located in between Springleaf and Lentor Station named "Tagore" is speculated to be a MRT station once the area is developed enough similar to Hume on the Downtown line and Bukit Brown on the Circle Line.
The first stage of the line, covering Woodlands North, Woodlands and Woodlands South, began operation on 31 January 2020. Stage 2, extending the line from Woodlands South to Caldecott, opened on 28 August 2021.
East Coast stretch
The Eastern Region Line (ERL) was first announced on 23 October 2001. In its preliminary plans, ERL was to have been a 40 kilometre rectangular loop that would complement the existing East West line and enhance inter- and intra-town travelling in the eastern region. It would have looped around the Jalan Besar and East Coast areas, intersecting the Circle Line and other lines along the way, benefiting residents in Tampines, Bedok, Marine Parade, MacPherson and Kaki Bukit. The northern part of Eastern Region Line is renamed to Downtown Line stage 3, whereas the southern part of Eastern Region Line is renamed to East Coast stretch of Thomson-East Coast line. Sungei Bedok became an interchange between the Downtown and Thomson-East Coast lines.
On 11 July 2012, Josephine Teo, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport, announced that the Land Transport Authority is starting architectural and engineering consultancy studies for the Eastern Region Line, which will eventually connect to the Thomson Line.
The director of rail services from the Land Transport Authority, Melvyn Thong, said on 29 May 2013 at the Modern Railways conference that there are plans to extend the Eastern Region Line to the future Changi Airport Terminal 4 which was at that time, set to be ready by 2017 but on 1 June that year, the Land Transport Authority clarified that the Eastern Region Line will not provide an MRT link to the planned Terminal 4. On 30 August that year, Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo unveiled plans that it will be linked to the future Changi Airport Terminal 5, a mega terminal, which will be the largest terminal in Singapore upon completion in the 2030s.
Subsumation of Eastern Region Line
|31 January 2020||Stage 1: Woodlands North – Woodlands South|
|28 August 2021||Stage 2: Springleaf – Caldecott|
|2022||Stage 3: Mount Pleasant – Gardens by the Bay|
|2024||Stage 4: Tanjong Rhu – Bayshore|
|2025||Stage 5: Bedok South – Sungei Bedok|
|2027||Opening of infill station Founders' Memorial|
|2040||Possible incorporation of the Changi Airport branch (Tanah Merah – Changi Airport)|
The Eastern Region Line was merged with the Thomson Line on 15 August 2014 to form the Thomson–East Coast Line, extending the project from three to five stages, with nine more stations.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the East Coast stretch took place at Marine Parade on 21 July 2016. All the working station names, including Xilin on the Downtown Line extension, were confirmed as the final names except for Amber station which was changed to Tanjong Katong. The authorities are also considering extending the Thomson–East Coast line to all terminals at Changi Airport, including the upcoming Terminal 5, announced Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.
On 28 August 2019, the Land Transport Authority awarded several non-fare businesses along the line, with Asiaray Connect awarded an advertising contract and a consortium, made up of SMRT Experience, JR Business Development SEA and Alphaplus Investments appointed to run retail space. This is the first time the LTA outsourced these non-fare businesses.
On 19 September that year, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan revealed that the opening of the first stage of the Thomson–East Coast Line from Woodlands North to Woodlands South stations was delayed to January 2020 from the indicative time of 2019 announced earlier, subsequently confirmed as 31 January 2020. Self-assistance kiosks were installed at all TEL MRT stations and will be rolled out to all stations.
On 11 January 2020, SMRT and LTA hosted an open house for the first stage of the line, with the stage opening for revenue service on 31 January 2020. The opening of the second stage was initially delayed to the first quarter of 2021 as a result mainly due to the stoppage of construction works during the COVID-19 circuit breaker period as well as the quarantine and testing of all foreign workers in dormitories; the project was subsequently further delayed to the third quarter of 2021.
On 30 April 2021, LTA handed over Stage 2 stations along the line to SMRT to get the section ready for operations. On 30 June 2021, Transport Minister S Iswaran announced that Stage 2 will open on 28 August 2021. LTA announced on 13 August 2021 that there would be a virtual open house held from 23 to 27 August 2021 since all physical open houses are disallowed due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Airport extension line
On 25 May 2019, LTA confirmed that it will extend the Thomson–East Coast Line from Sungei Bedok to Changi Airport Terminal 5. Construction works to extend the TEL to the existing Changi Airport MRT station, which is a terminal station of the East West MRT line commenced in 2020. The stretch of East West MRT line between Tanah Merah and Changi Airport will be converted to form part of the Thomson–East Coast Line extension. The extension is expected to begin construction after 2022, with train services commencing by 2040.
Network and operations
Transfer outside paid area
Civil Defence Shelter
Other transportation modes
|Station code||Station name||Images||Interchange;
1 year ago[a]
1 month ago[b]
|Stage 3 (under construction)|
1 year's time
|Gardens by the Bay||—||TBA||TBA|
|Founders' Memorial station (under construction)|
6 years' time
|Stage 4 (under construction)|
3 years' time
|Stage 5 (under construction)|
4 years' time
|Thomson-East Coast Line extension|
(The extension will take over the Changi Airport Branch of the EWL)
|TBA||Does not appear||
Changi Airport Terminal 5
19 years' time
|TBA||Changi Airport||Does not appear|| Changi Airport
Changi Airport Terminals 1-4
|Expo||Does not appear||TBA||TBA|
|Tanah Merah||Does not appear||TBA||TBA|
|Mandai||Does not appear||90 trains||S$329 million|
1 year ago
||Changi||Does not appear||62 trains||S$1.99 billion|
3 years' time
The Thomson–East Coast Line is equipped with Alstom Urbalis 400 Communications-based train control (CBTC) moving block signalling system with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 4 (UTO). The subsystems consist of Automatic train protection (ATP) to govern train speed, Iconis Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) to track and schedule trains and Smartlock Computer-based interlocking (CBI) system that prevents incorrect signal and track points to be set.
The first generation of rolling stock being introduced onto the Thomson–East Coast Line is the CT251, built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries & CRRC Qingdao Sifang in Qingdao, China. 91 of these trains are built with 5 doors per car, which is the very first time in Singapore to have this configuration. They are also completely automated and driverless. The trains will be housed at the Mandai Depot and the future East Coast Integrated Depot (shared with the Downtown and the East West lines).
- Stage 1
- Stage 2
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- Thomson–East Coast Line