Second stage of Thomson-East Coast line to start running on Aug 28

Thomson-East Coast MRT line's two stages will benefit 100,000 homes: Iswaran

The long-awaited second stage of the Thomson-East Coast MRT line (TEL) will start running on Aug 28.

Transport Minister S. Iswaran said yesterday that the new six-station stretch - connecting Springleaf, Lentor, Mayflower, Bright Hill, Upper Thomson and Caldecott stations - "would not have been possible without the hard work, adaptability and personal sacrifices of our technicians, engineers and ground staff".

Delayed in part by the Covid-19 pandemic, stage two of the line (TEL2) will have two interchanges - Caldecott, with the Circle Line; and Bright Hill, with the future Cross Island Line.

Mr Iswaran said the TEL will enhance the resilience of the rail network. When fully opened in the latter half of this decade, the TEL will have interchanges with five existing MRT lines (North-South, East-West, North East, Circle and Downtown) as well as the Cross Island Line.

When the TEL is completed, more than 240,000 current and future households will be within a 10-minute walk of a station along the line, Mr Iswaran said.

TEL1 and TEL2 alone will benefit about 100,000 households, he added.

TEL1 - the first stage of the line, a three-station stretch from Woodlands North to Woodlands South - opened in January last year.

Speaking at Caldecott station, Mr Iswaran pointed out that the station is near the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped and Lighthouse School, which has students with sensory impairments.

"To better support visually impaired commuters, TEL's lift buttons, platform seats and signs will have greater colour contrasts," he said.

Lighting will also be installed in the handrails of staircases to enhance the visibility of the steps.

For seniors and commuters with mobility difficulties, there will be backrests and handrails on seats at the station platform.

Mr Iswaran said TEL stations have more entrances to provide better connectivity.

The Land Transport Authority said construction of TEL2 posed several engineering challenges. For example, no fewer than 15 traffic diversions had to be made for Mayflower station, and construction in parts was as close as 5m to Housing Board blocks.

The 43km, 32-station TEL is expected to have an average ridership of 500,000 initially, rising to one million in the longer term.

The line, which will run from Woodlands to Bedok, will also connect to the upcoming cross-border rapid transit line to Johor Baru.