The Thomson–East Coast Line (TEL) is a Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line in Singapore. All the lines in the TEL line will be fully underground with 32 stations and spreading across 43 kilometres. The Thomson-East Coast line is the world’s longest driverless rapid transit line. The line will be opened to the public in 5 stages, with stage 1 (from Woodlands North to Woodlands South stations opened on 31 January 2020. Now the construction of the Thomson-East Coast Line Stage 2 (TEL2) stations is complete, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) is handing over the stations to rail operator SMRT Trains.
Details about the TEL2
The opening of TEL2 is scheduled for the third quarter of 2021. The civil and structural works for the stations have been completed while some architectural, electrical, and mechanical works are still going on. LTA and the partners involved in the TEL2 project have completed testing and commissioning of the trains and systems. SMRT, the leading mass rapid transit operator in Singapore, is now responsible for conducting tests to validate the operational readiness of TEL2 stations and lines. SMRT will also carry out emergency preparedness exercises along the TEL2 lines before its scheduled opening in the third quarter of 2021. Here are the stations opening as part of the TEL2 project:
• Bright Hill
• Upper Thomson
How Singaporeans Are Going to Benefit from TEL2
As soon as SMRT starts operating metros in the six stations along the TEL line, more than 100,000 households are going to benefit from it. They can reach one of the nine stations along TEL1 and TEL2 lines within a 10-minute walk. Residents are going to save up to 50 percent of their time when traveling via these stations.
Commenting on the commencement of TEL services, SMRT Chairman Seah Moon Ming said, “When all five stages of TEL are completed, it will – with its length of 43km and 32 MRT stations, we will be able to serve up to 1 million commuters daily and bring the MRT network within a 10-minute walk from 250,000 households.”
SMRT Chairman further added, “We will continue to increase our workforce in tandem with our growing train operations.”
Stage 2 of the Thomson-East Coast line has been delayed a bit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All the construction works were suspended during the circuit breaker period in 2020. Now the construction of another 23 stations on the TEL will start soon and the stations will open in 2024. The TEL line is a part of LTA’s aim to expand the Singapore rail line to 360km by 2030.
The opening of the Thomson-East Coast line 2 is a key milestone for LTA, SMRT, and commuters. Now 100,000 households will be able to reach any station within a 10-minute walk. As the TEL lines start opening in stages by 2024, more and more households will benefit from the expanded rail infrastructure as they can save time while traveling to their destinations.
About the Author
Shawn is an architecture professor at a university in Singapore. He continues to study the developments and technologies in the land transportation sector. He also loves to share his views and ideas related to rail infrastructure and bus services in Singapore and worldwide.