SINGAPORE - Commuters in the east will soon have more MRT links to the city and the northern parts of Singapore with the new Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL).
The eastern stretch of the TEL will have nine stations running from Sungei Bedok to Tanjong Rhu. The line will then connect northwards to 22 other stations. The stations along the northern stretch were announced earlier under the Thomson Line.
The Land Transport Authority announced on Friday the station locations along the eastern stretch, or what was originally referred to as the Eastern Region Line.
The 13km eastern stretch will run through the neighbourhoods of Tanjong Rhu, Katong Park, Amber, Marine Parade, Marine Terrace, Siglap, Bayshore, Bedok South and Sungei Bedok. The first seven stations, from Tanjong Rhu to Bayshore, will be ready in 2023. The stations in Bedok South and Sungei Bedok will be ready in 2024.
When the 43km-long TEL is completed in 2024, a trip from East Coast Park to Orchard is expected to take just 45 minutes, compared to 75 minutes. Commuters travelling from Marine Parade to the Central Business District will halve their travel time from 40 minutes to 20 minutes.
Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew announced these details on Friday at a visit to the Marina South Pier station, which is part of the North-South Line and will be opened by the end of the year. He said the eastern section of the TEL is expected to cost $6.8 billion, bringing the total budgeted cost of the TEL to about $24 billion.
The TEL will also connect with the upcoming Downtown Line which will have a new extension consisting of the Xilin station and the Sungei Bedok interchange station. This is to improve public transport accessibility to the Changi Business Park and Expo areas, he said.
The 31 stations of the TEL are expected to serve about half a million commuters daily in the initial years and twice that in the long term. To make way for the construction of the eastern stretch of the line however, six landed properties along Amber Road and a three-storey apartment along Tanjong Katong Road will be acquired.
The world's first four-in-one train and bus depot will also be built with the TEL. It will house buses and trains for the TEL, East-West Line and Downtown Line. The 36ha depot can house about 220 trains and 550 buses and integrating the depot for both buses and trains will help to save close to 60 football fields of land space.
Tenders for the new Line will be put out next year and construction is expected to start in 2016.