SINGAPORE - Just five days after the public previewed the first three stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said that the second stage of six stations along the line is "about 90 per cent complete" and will open later this year.
They are Springleaf, Lentor, Mayflower, Bright Hill, Upper Thomson and Caldecott stations.
Bright Hill and Caldecott will be interchanges. Bright Hill station will be linked to the future Cross Island Line, while Caldecott will connect to the existing Circle Line (CCL).
Some 100,000 households will be within a 10-minute walk from one of the nine stations on the TEL, the LTA said.
"For example, a Sin Ming resident travelling to Republic Polytechnic will have his journey time halved, from 50 minutes to 25 minutes," the LTA said in a statement on Friday (Jan 17).
Located in the mature Ang Mo Kio and Kebun Baru estate, Mayflower station will have elderly friendly features like 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 - an interchange - 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, however, did not require ground excavation, which would have had an impact on the nearby St Joseph's Institution International, and 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 metres of granite was removed for Caldecott station using the electronic blasting method.
The entire 43km TEL will open in five stages beginning from this year to 2024, with the first stage comprising three stations - Woodlands North, Woodlands, and Woodlands South - beginning passenger service on Jan 31.
Singapore's sixth and longest MRT line cost $25 billion to build and adds 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.
It will provide alternative travel routes for commuters on other lines. Running parallel to the North-South Line and East-West Line at some points, it will help to reduce reliance and crowding on these lines.