SINGAPORE - The six-station Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) stage two has been handed over by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to operator SMRT, with all civil and structural works for the stations completed.
This marks a key milestone as the section of the line gets ready to open to commuters in the third quarter of the year, the LTA said on Friday (April 30), about a year after it was initially scheduled to open.
Some 100,000 households in Springleaf, Lentor, Mayflower, Bright Hill, Upper Thomson and Caldecott are set to be brought within a 10-minute walk of one of the nine stations along stages one and two of the TEL.
Their journey time can also be cut by half. Sin Ming residents travelling to Republic Polytechnic, for instance, will have their travel time shaved from 50 minutes to 25 minutes.
LTA said that some architectural, electrical and mechanical works will continue, but the commissioning and testing of trains and systems for the line have been done.
Following the handover, SMRT will conduct its own tests and familiarise its staff with TEL operations.
Emergency-preparedness exercises will also be carried out during this period.
Three TEL stations - Woodlands North, Woodlands and Woodlands South - were opened in January last year, but stage two of the line was delayed due to the coronavirus.
Most construction work was suspended during the circuit breaker, and the phased reopening afterwards also caused delays to the completion, Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung said previously.
Another 23 stations on the TEL should open in 2024.
Singapore wants to expand its rail network to about 360km by 2030. Other rail lines under construction include the Jurong Region Line and the Cross Island Line.