Thomson–East Coast MRT line

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MRT Singapore Destination 13.png MRT Singapore Destination 14.png
Thomson–East Coast Line
TE2 Woodlands Under Construction.jpg
Woodlands MRT Station (TEL) under construction
Native nameMalay: Laluan MRT Thomson-Pantai Timur
Chinese: 汤申-东海岸地铁线
Tamil: தாம்சன் - ஈஸ்ட் கோஸ்ட் எம்ஆர்டி வழி
TypeRapid transit
SystemMass Rapid Transit (Singapore)
StatusUnder construction
TerminiWoodlands North
Sungei Bedok
Tanah Merah (2040)
Stations32 (under construction)
Daily ridership500,000 (expected)
Planned opening31 January 2020 (Stage 1)
2020 (Stage 2)
2021 (Stage 3)
2023 (Stage 4)
2024 (Stage 5)
2027 (Founders' Memorial MRT station)
2040 (extension to Changi Airport)
OwnerLand Transport Authority
Operator(s)SMRT Trains (SMRT Corporation)
CharacterFully Underground
Depot(s)Mandai (Future)
East Coast (Future)
Rolling stockCT251
Line length43 km (27 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Electrification750 V DC Third Rail[1]
Operating speed90 km/h (56 mph)
Route map
MRT map TS.svg

The Thomson–East Coast Line (TEL) is a medium-capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line in Singapore that is currently under construction, being the sixth line to be built. The line was announced on 15 August 2014 by the Land Transport Authority as a merger of the then planned Thomson Line (TSL) and the Eastern Region Line (ERL).[2] The stretch from Woodlands North to Gardens by the Bay costs around S$18 billion. The line will open in five stages from 2020 onwards, and interchanges with all existing lines. 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 will be the fourth MRT line to be operated by SMRT, after the North South Line, East West Line and the Circle Line and also the fourth to be completely automated and driverless. The line is coloured brown on the rail map.

The fully underground line is 43 km (27 mi) long and consists of 32 stations, and will be among the world's longest driverless rapid transit lines. It will run through a combined north-south and east-west corridor, starting in the north at Woodlands town, then passing through the towns of Ang Mo Kio and Bishan, after that heading south to the residential estates of Thomson and Stevens, the shopping districts of 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 will be served by Mandai Depot and East Coast Integrated Depot.[3] The Land Transport Authority announced on 11 August 2017 that stations along the line will accept only cashless payments after the existing lines were converted in December 2018.[4]


Location of Thomson–East Coast MRT line

Thomson stretch[edit]

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).[5]

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.[6]

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.[7] The line's deadline was pushed back again to end-January 2020 onwards as announced on 19 September 2019.[8]

Construction of the Thomson Line began in January 2014.[9]

The groundbreaking ceremony took place on 27 June 2014 at Woodlands. All the working station names were confirmed as the final names except for Sin Ming station which was changed to Bright Hill.

East Coast stretch[edit]

The Eastern Region Line (ERL) was first announced on 23 October 2001.[10] 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.[11] However, the northern part of the loop which includes Jalan Besar, Tampines, MacPherson, Bedok North and Kaki Bukit is now part of the Downtown Line Stage 3.

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 ERL, which will eventually connect to the Thomson line.[12]

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 ERL to the future Changi Airport Terminal 4 which was at that time, set to be ready by 2017[13] but on 1 June 2013, the Land Transport Authority clarified that ERL will not provide an MRT link to the planned Terminal 4.[14] On 30 August 2013, 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.[15]


The ERL was merged with the Thomson line on 15 August 2014 to form the Thomson–East Coast line, extending the project to five stages,[2] 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 TEL to all terminals at Changi Airport, including the upcoming Terminal 5, announced Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.[16][17]

SMRT Trains was appointed as the operator of the line on 15 September 2017.[18]

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.[19]

On 19 September 2019, transport minister Khaw Boon Wan revealed that the opening of the first stage of the Thomson-East Coast Line from Woodlands North MRT station to Woodlands South MRT station has been delayed to January 2020 from the initial 2019 timeframe announced earlier.[20] It has subsequently been confirmed on 11 December 2019 that the Woodlands section will open on 31 January 2020.[21]

TEL extension[edit]

The LTA has announced that studies are ongoing for the possibility of extending the TEL 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 TEL extension.[22][23]


Thomson-East Coast MRT Line
Left arrow Bukit Chagar
 TE1  RTS 
Woodlands North
Left arrow  Jurong East – Marina South Pier Right arrow
 TE2  NS9 
Woodlands South
Mandai Depot
Seletar River
Kallang River
  Aviation Park Right arrow
 TE7  CR13 
Bright Hill
Upper Thomson
  Dhoby Ghaut Right arrow
 TE9  CC17 
Left arrow  HarbourFront
Mount Pleasant
Rochor River
Left arrow  Bukit Panjang – Sungei Bedok Right arrow
 TE11  DT10 
Orchard Boulevard
Jurong East Right arrow
 TE14  NS22 
Marina South Pier Right arrow
Great World
Left arrow  Tuas Link
 TE17  EW16  NE3 
Outram Park
Left arrow  HarbourFront – Punggol Coast Right arrow
  Pasir Ris Right arrow
Shenton Way
Left arrow  Marina South Pier – Jurong East Right arrow
Left arrow  HarbourFront – Stadium Right arrow
 TE20  NS27  CE2 
Marina Bay
Marina South
Gardens by the Bay
Marina Reservoir
Founders' Memorial
Tanjong Rhu
Katong Park
Tanjong Katong
Marine Parade
Siglap Canal
Marine Terrace
Bedok South
 TE31  DT37 
Sungei Bedok
Bedok River
East Coast Depot
  Bukit Panjang Right arrow
Future extension to Changi Airport T5
Station Number Station Name Interchange/Notes
Stage 1 (under construction, to be ready by 31 January 2020)
 TE1  RTS  Woodlands North
 TE2  NS9  Woodlands Interchange with the North South line
 TE3  Woodlands South
Stage 2 (under construction, to be ready by 2020)
 TE4  Springleaf
 TE5  Lentor
 TE6  Mayflower
 TE7  CR13  Bright Hill Interchange with the Cross Island line (2029)
 TE8  Upper Thomson
 TE9  CC17  Caldecott Interchange with the Circle line
Stage 3 (under construction, to be ready by 2021)
 TE10  Mount Pleasant
 TE11  DT10  Stevens Interchange with the Downtown line
 TE12  Napier
 TE13  Orchard Boulevard
 TE14  NS22  Orchard Interchange with the North South line
 TE15  Great World
 TE16  Havelock
 TE17  EW16  NE3  Outram Park Interchange with the East West line and the North East line
 TE18  Maxwell
 TE19  Shenton Way
 TE20  NS27  CE2  Marina Bay Interchange with the North South line and the Circle line extension
 TE21  Marina South
 TE22  Gardens by the Bay
Infill station (under construction, to be ready by 2027)
 TE22A  Founders' Memorial[24]
Stage 4 (under construction, to be ready by 2023)
 TE23  Tanjong Rhu
 TE24  Katong Park
 TE25  Tanjong Katong
 TE26  Marine Parade
 TE27  Marine Terrace
 TE28  Siglap
 TE29  Bayshore
Stage 5 (under construction, to be ready by 2024)
 TE30  Bedok South
 TE31  DT37  Sungei Bedok Interchange with the Downtown line
Thomson-East Coast Line Extension (under study, to be ready by 2040)
 TE  CR1  Changi Airport Terminal 5 Interchange with the Cross Island line (2030)
Station name not announced.[25][23]
 CG2  (till 2040)
 TE  (from 2040)
Changi Airport Changi Branch Line will be converted to become part of TELe by 2040.[25][23]
 CG1  DT35  (till 2040)
 TE  DT35  (from 2040)
Expo Interchange with the Downtown line
Changi Branch Line will be converted to become part of TELe by 2040.[25][23]
 CG   EW4  (till 2040)
 TE  EW4  (from 2040)
Tanah Merah Interchange with the East West line
Changi Branch Line will be converted to become part of TELe by 2040.[25][23]

Train control[edit]

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).[26][27] 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.

GE Transportation will also be supplying platform screen doors for the Thomson–East Coast line.[27]


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b "Joint News Release by the Land Transport Authority & Singapore Land Authority – Thomson–East Coast Line: New MRT Links In The East". Land Transport Authority. 15 August 2014. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014.
  3. ^ "LTA unveils sites for Thomson Line terminal station". Channel News Asia. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Singapore aims for fully cashless transport system by 2020: LTA". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Thomson Line Depot To Be Constructed In Mandai". Land Transport Authority. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011.
  7. ^ "Speech by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport, at the Inspection of Downtown Line 1 Station and Announcement of Thomson Line alignment, 29 August 2012, 10.00am at Telok Ayer Station". Ministry of Transport. 29 August 2012. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  8. ^ Tan, Christopher (19 September 2019). "First phase of Thomson-East Coast Line to open before Chinese New Year next year, with three stations in Woodlands". The Straits Times. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Caldecott – It's Beginning". Thomson Line Construction. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  10. ^ "Speech by Mr Yeo Cheow Tong at the Official Opening of Dover Station on 23 Oct 2001". MOT. Retrieved 11 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Speech by Mr Raymond Lim – Doubling our Rail Network". Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. Retrieved 26 January 2008.[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Speech by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport, at DTL3 Tunelling Works Ceremony". Ministry Of Transport. Retrieved 11 July 2012.[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Direct MRT link to Changi Airport planned". The Straits Times. 30 May 2013.
  14. ^ "No Terminal 4 link on Eastern Region Line". asiaone. 1 June 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Changi T5 to land by mid 2020s, capacity to handle 50m passenger movements a year". The Straits Times. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Names of MRT stations on Thomson–East Coast Line (East Coast stretch) announced". Today Online. 21 July 2016.
  17. ^ Valerie Koh (21 July 2016). "Upcoming Thomson–East Coast Line may link to all terminals at Changi Airport". Today Online.
  18. ^ "SMRT Trains Appointed to Operate the Thomson–East Coast Line". Land Transport Authority. 15 September 2017.
  19. ^ Abdullah, Zhaki (28 August 2019). "Retail and advertising operations to be outsourced on Thomson-East Coast Line". The Straits Times. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  20. ^ Tan, Christopher (19 September 2019). "First phase of Thomson-East Coast Line to open before Chinese New Year next year, with three stations in Woodlands". The Straits Times. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  21. ^ Liu, Vanessa (11 December 2019). "First three stations of Thomson-East Coast Line to begin service on Jan 31; free travel for commuters for three days". The Straits Times. Retrieved 11 December 2019.
  22. ^ "LTA to assess feasibility of new rail line connecting northeast and south Singapore". CNA. 25 May 2019.
  23. ^ a b c d e "At a glance: Key updates to MRT, bus network and more for 2040 master plan". TODAYonline. 25 May 2019.
  24. ^ Tan, Christopher (7 January 2019). "Thomson-East Coast line to have station at Founders' Memorial in Marina Bay". The Straits Times. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  25. ^ a b c d "Land Transport Master Plan 2040: Bringing Singapore Together | Press Room | Land Transport Authority". Land Transport Authority. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  26. ^ "GE Transportation Chosen by Singapore's Land Transport Authority (LTA) To Supply the Signaling of New Thomson and Eastern Region Lines". Archived from the original on 11 March 2017. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  27. ^ a b "Singapore's LTA selects GE Transportation for driverless CBTC solution". Railway Technology. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2016.

External links[edit]