Thomson–East Coast MRT line
Thomson–East Coast line
TEL platforms of Woodlands North MRT station.
|Native name||Malay: Laluan MRT Thomson-Pesisir Timur|
Tamil: தாம்சன் - ஈஸ்ட் கோஸ்ட் எம்ஆர்டி வழி
|System||Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)|
|Status||Operational (Stage 1)|
Under Testing (Stage 2)
Under construction (Stages 3-5)
Under planning (extension to Changi Airport)
Woodlands South (till end 2020)
Caldecott (2020, till 2021)
Gardens by the Bay (2021, till 2023)
Bayshore (2023, till 2024)
Sungei Bedok (2024, till 2040)
Tanah Merah (2040)
|Stations||32 (3 operational, 6 testing, 23 under construction)|
|Daily ridership||500,000 (expected)|
|Planned opening||2020 (Stage 2)|
2021 (Stage 3)
2023 (Stage 4)
2024 (Stage 5)
2027 (Founders' Memorial MRT station)
2040 (extension to Changi Airport)
|Opened||31 January 2020(Stage 1)|
|Owner||Land Transport Authority|
|Operator(s)||SMRT Trains Ltd (SMRT Corporation)|
East Coast (Future)
|Line length||4.2 km (2.6 mi) (Operational)|
38.8 km (24.1 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 under development in Singapore. Coloured brown on the rail map, it is fully underground serving 32 stations over 43 kilometres (27 mi) in length, and will be among the world's longest driverless rapid transit lines. It will run 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 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, with the merger of the previously planned Thomson (TSL) and Eastern Region (ERL) lines. By then, construction of the Thomson line has begun in January 2014. The line is set to be opened in 5 stages, with stage 1 (from Woodlands North to Woodlands South stations) opened on 31 January 2020 and stage 5 (from Bedok South to Sungei Bedok stations) opening in 2024. 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 2024, and services are operated by CT251 trains.
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).
The Land Transport Authority announced on 16 June 2011 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. The line's deadline was pushed back to January 2020 as of 19 September 2019. The line officially opened on 31 January 2020.
Construction of the Thomson line began in January 2014.
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.
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.
|31 January 2020||Stage 1: Woodlands North – Woodlands South|
|End 2020||Stage 2: Springleaf – Caldecott|
|2021||Stage 3: Mount Pleasant – Gardens by the Bay|
|2023||Stage 4: Tanjong Rhu – Bayshore|
|2024||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 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 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.
Thomson–East Coast line extension
The LTA has announced that studies are ongoing for the possibility of extending the Thomson–East Coast line from Sungei Bedok to either serve Changi Airport Terminal 5 directly or via Changi Airport MRT station, terminating at Changi Village. On 25 May 2019, it was confirmed that it will be extended to Changi Airport Terminal 5, which will start construction in 2020, and Changi Airport. The stretch of rail network between Tanah Merah and Changi Airport on the East West line will be converted to form part of the extension. The extension is expected to begin construction after 2022, with train services commencing by 2040.
Network and Operations
|Station Number||Station Name||Image||Interchange/Notes|
|Woodlands North||Possible Interchange with the Johor Bahru–Singapore Rapid Transit System (Future)|
|Woodlands||Interchange with the North South line|
|Woodlands South||Current southern terminus of the line until stage 2 opens later in 2020.|
|Stage 2 (under testing, to be ready by 2020)|
|Bright Hill||Interchange with the Cross Island line (2029)|
|Caldecott||Interchange with the Circle line|
|Stage 3 (under construction, to be ready by 2021)|
|Stevens||Interchange with the Downtown line|
|Orchard||Interchange with the North South line|
|Outram Park||Interchange with the East West line and the North East line|
|Marina Bay||Interchange with the North South line and the Circle line extension|
|Gardens by the Bay|
|Infill station (under construction, to be ready by 2027)|
|Founders' Memorial||To open in tandem with the Founders' Memorial in 2027.|
|Stage 4 (under construction, to be ready by 2023)|
|Stage 5 (under construction, to be ready by 2024)|
|Sungei Bedok||Interchange with the Downtown line|
|Thomson-East Coast line extension (under study, to be ready by 2040)|
|Changi Airport Terminal 5||Interchange with the Cross Island line (2040)|
Station name not announced.
|Changi Airport||Changi Branch line will be converted to become part of TELe by 2040.|
| (till 2040)
|Expo||Interchange with the Downtown line|
Changi Branch line will be converted to become part of TELe by 2040.
| (till 2040)
|Tanah Merah||Interchange with the East West line|
Changi Branch Line will be converted to become part of TELe by 2040.
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. These trains are the first in Singapore to have 5 doors per car, and are completely automated and driverless. 91 of the type are being built, to service both the Thomson–East Coast line (TEL) and the future Singapore–Johor Bahru Rapid Transit System (RTS). 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).
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