Six more stations on TEL to open before December

Ms Eileen Goh, assistant manager of Art In Transit at the Land Transport Authority, briefing visitors, including Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan (third from right), on the significance of the artwork Tree Of Memories by artist Koh Hong Teng at Sprin
Ms Eileen Goh, assistant manager of Art In Transit at the Land Transport Authority, briefing visitors, including Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan (third from right), on the significance of the artwork Tree Of Memories by artist Koh Hong Teng at Springleaf MRT station on the Thomson-East Coast Line yesterday.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

2nd stage of Thomson-East Coast Line, from Springleaf to Caldecott, about 90% complete

Six more stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) are set to open later this year, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday.

The second stage of the TEL - which comprises six stations from Springleaf to Caldecott - is about 90 per cent complete, it said.

It will have two interchange stations, with Caldecott linked to the existing Circle Line (CCL), and Bright Hill station connected to the future Cross Island Line.

In a Facebook post, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said the opening date will be announced in a few months, adding: "It should be before December."

Singapore's sixth MRT line will open in five stages from this year to 2024. The first stage, a three-station stretch serving Woodlands, will open on Jan 31.

Stage three, which runs from Mount Pleasant to Gardens by the Bay, will open next year.

This will be followed by a seven-station stretch from Tanjong Rhu to Bayshore in 2023, and two more - Bedok South and Sungei Bedok - in 2024.

About 100,000 households will be within a 10-minute walk from one of the nine stations on stages one and two of the TEL, said the LTA.

It said a Sin Ming resident travelling to Republic Polytechnic in Woodlands will have his journey time halved, from 50 minutes to 25 minutes.

Mayflower station, located in Ang Mo Kio's Kebun Baru estate, will have elder-friendly features such as barrier-free entrances. It will serve schools and community amenities in the area like CHIJ St Nicholas Girls' School, Mayflower Secondary School, Ang Mo Kio Primary School and Kebun Baru Community Club.

Bright Hill station will connect residents in the Sin Ming area directly to the city.

The LTA said it was a challenge to build Bright Hill station due to the presence of hard granite at the location. More than 1,500 reinforced concrete piles had to be installed before excavation work could begin.

Caldecott station did not require ground excavation, which would have had an impact on the nearby St Joseph's Institution International. It was built using the mined tunnel construction method.

 
 
 
 

The LTA said it was the largest mined tunnel ever constructed in Singapore in mixed soil conditions, and a total of 160,000 cubic m of granite was removed for Caldecott station using the electronic blasting method.

Engineers are confident that the second stage of the TEL is on track to open this year, Mr Khaw said in his post. "Systems are still being tested and finishing touches to the stations are still ongoing," he added.

The minister was earlier briefed on the progress of the second stage at Springleaf station, which serves residents and businesses in the Upper Thomson area.

In particular, construction hoardings around businesses in the area could be removed before April, "way before the line starts", Mr Khaw said.

The 43km line will cost more than $25 billion to build and add 32 new stations to the existing rail network, with eight interchange stations in total.

When fully operational, the TEL is expected to initially serve around 500,000 commuters daily, eventually rising to about one million.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 18, 2020, with the headline 'Six more stations on TEL to open before December'. Print Edition | Subscribe