The Thomson–East Coast line (TEL) is a medium-capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line in Singapore that is currently under construction, being the sixth line to be built. The line was announced on 15 August 2014 by the Land Transport Authority as the merger of the Thomson Line (TSL) and the Eastern Region line (ERL).[2] The stretch from Woodlands North to Gardens by the Bay costs S$18 billion. The line will open in five stages from 2019 onwards, and interchanges with all existing lines. When the line fully opens, it is expected to serve about 500,000 commuters daily in the initial years, rising to one million commuters daily in the long term. It will be the fourth MRT line to be operated by SMRT, after the North South line, East West line and the Circle line and also the fourth to be completely automated and driverless. This line is coloured brown on the rail map.

The fully underground line is 43 km (27 mi) long and consists of 31 stations, and will be among the world's longest driverless rapid transit lines. It will run through a combined north-south and east-west corridor, starting in the north at Woodlands town, then passing through the towns of Ang Mo Kio and Bishan, after that heading south to the residential estates of Thomson and Stevens, the shopping districts of Orchard Road and Marina Bay, then running eastwards along the east coast through Kallang, Marine Parade and Bedok South, before ending at Upper East Coast. Its depots are located at Mandai, south of Woodlands, and near the south-eastern terminus of the line at Tanah Merah.[3] By 31 December 2024, the planned Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link will interchange the line's Woodlands North terminus, allowing it to extend to Malaysia.[4] The Land Transport Authority announced on 11 August 2017 that the Thomson–East Coast line will be the first cashless MRT line.[5]


On 15 September 2017, SMRT Trains was appointed as the operator of the line.[6]

Thomson stretch

The Thomson Line was first announced on 25 January 2008. Several architectural and engineering consultancy packages were released in 2010 which indicated an increase in the number of stations from 18 in the initial announcement to the current 22 and length of the line from 27 km to 30 km.[7]

On 16 June 2011, the Land Transport Authority announced the location of the depot for the line, due to begin construction at the end of 2012. It also announced Woodlands as an interchange with the existing North South line and an additional station located near to Republic Polytechnic. In addition, the northern terminus will also house the Johor Bahru RTS link.[8]

On 29 August 2012, it was announced the Thomson Line will be ready from 2019 onwards instead of the indicative timeline of 2018 announced in the Land Transport Masterplan.[9]

Construction of the Thomson Line began in January 2014.[10]

On 27 June 2014, the groundbreaking ceremony took place at Woodlands. All the working station names were confirmed as the final names except for Sin Ming station which was changed to Bright Hill.

East Coast stretch

The Eastern Region Line was first officially announced on 18 October 2001. In its preliminary plans, Eastern Region Line was to have been a 40 kilometre rectangular loop that would complement the existing East West line and enhance inter- and intra-town travelling in the eastern region. It would have looped around the Jalan Besar and East Coast areas, intersecting the Circle line and other lines along the way, benefiting residents in Tampines, Bedok, Marine Parade, MacPherson and Kaki Bukit.[11] However, the northern part of the loop which includes Jalan Besar, Tampines, MacPherson, Bedok North and Kaki Bukit is now part of the Downtown Line Stage 3. The ERL is now planned to closely follow the southern stretch of the originally announced plan.

On 11 July 2012, a speech by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport, at Downtown Line 3 (DTL3) Tunelling Works Ceremony, announced that the Land Transport Authority (LTA) are starting architectural and engineering consultancy studies for the Eastern Region Line, which will eventually connect to the Thomson line.[12]

On 29 May 2013, Land Transport Authority director of rail services, Melvyn Thong said at the Modern Railways conference, there are plans to extend ERL and link to the future Singapore Changi Airport's Terminal 4 which is set to be ready by 2017[13] but on 1 June 2013, LTA clarified that ERL will not provide an MRT link to the planned Terminal 4,[14] but instead, on 30 August 2013, Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo unveiled plans that it will be linked to the future planned Singapore Changi Airport's Terminal 5, a mega terminal, which will be the largest terminal in Singapore upon completion around the mid 2020s.[15]


On 15 August 2014, it was announced that the Eastern Region line would be merged with the Thomson line to form the Thomson–East Coast line, extending the project to five stages,[2] with nine more stations. This is more than the number of stations originally planned on the line.

On 21 July 2016, the groundbreaking ceremony for the East Coast stretch took place at Marine Parade. All the working station names, including Xilin on the Downtown Line extension, were confirmed as the final names except for Amber station which was changed to Tanjong Katong. The authorities are also considering extending the TEL to all terminals at Changi Airport, including the upcoming Terminals 4 and 5, announced Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan. [16][17]

Possible extension

On 20 January 2017, it was announced that studies are ongoing for the possibility of extending the TEL from Sungei Bedok to serve the future Changi Airport Terminal 5, further extending to Changi Airport Terminal 1, 2 and 3, and to Changi Village. This way, commuters in the future can enjoy a seamless ride on the TEL from the city centre to any of the terminals in Changi Airport without having to change lines.[18]


Thomson-East Coast MRT Line
Woodlands North
Left arrow  Jurong East – Marina South Pier Right arrow
 TE2  NS9 
Woodlands South
Bright Hill
Upper Thomson
  Dhoby Ghaut Right arrow
 TE9  CC17 
Left arrow  HarbourFront
Mount Pleasant
Left arrow  Bukit Panjang – Sungei Bedok Right arrow
 TE11  DT10 
Orchard Boulevard
Jurong East Right arrow
 TE14  NS22 
Marina South Pier Right arrow
Great World
Left arrow  Tuas Link
 TE17  EW16  NE3 
Outram Park
Left arrow  HarbourFront – Punggol Right arrow
Left arrow  Pasir Ris
Shenton Way
Left arrow  Marina South Pier – Jurong East Right arrow
Left arrow  HarbourFront – Stadium Right arrow
 TE20  NS27  CE2 
Marina Bay
Marina South
Gardens by the Bay
Tanjong Rhu
Katong Park
Tanjong Katong
Marine Parade
Marine Terrace
Bedok South
 TE31  DT37 
Sungei Bedok
  Bukit Panjang Right arrow
Station Number Station Name Interchange/Notes
Stage 1 (under construction, to be ready by 2019)
 TE1  Woodlands North
 TE2  NS9  Woodlands Interchange with the North South Line
 TE3  Woodlands South
Stage 2 (under construction, to be ready by 2020)
 TE4  Springleaf
 TE5  Lentor
 TE6  Mayflower
 TE7  Bright Hill
 TE8  Upper Thomson
 TE9  CC17  Caldecott Interchange with the Circle Line
Stage 3 (under construction, to be ready by 2021)
 TE10  Mount Pleasant
 TE11  DT10  Stevens Interchange with the Downtown Line
 TE12  Napier
 TE13  Orchard Boulevard
 TE14  NS22  Orchard Interchange with the North South Line
 TE15  Great World
 TE16  Havelock
 TE17  EW16  NE3  Outram Park Interchange with the East West Line and the North East Line
 TE18  Maxwell
 TE19  Shenton Way
 TE20  NS27  CE2  Marina Bay Interchange with the North South Line and the Circle Line extension
 TE21  Marina South
 TE22  Gardens by the Bay
Stage 4 (under construction, to be ready by 2023)
 TE23  Tanjong Rhu
 TE24  Katong Park
 TE25  Tanjong Katong
 TE26  Marine Parade
 TE27  Marine Terrace
 TE28  Siglap
 TE29  Bayshore
Stage 5 (under construction, to be ready by 2024)
 TE30  Bedok South
 TE31  DT37  Sungei Bedok Interchange with the Downtown Line

Train control

The Thomson–East Coast line is equipped with Alstom Urbalis 400 Communications-based train control (CBTC) moving block signalling system with Automatic train control (ATC) under Automatic train operation (ATO) GoA 4 (UTO).[19][20] The subsystems consist of Automatic train protection (ATP) to govern train speed, Iconis Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) to track and schedule trains and Smartlock Computer-based interlocking (CBI) system that prevents incorrect signal and track points to be set.

Alstom will also be supplying platform screen doors for the Thomson–East Coast line.[20]

External links


  1. ^ http://www.lta.gov.sg/apps/news/page.aspx?c=2&id=f0b205a6-69ab-49b0-b94d-65384ee5e5c0
  2. ^ a b "Joint News Release by the Land Transport Authority & Singapore Land Authority – Thomson–East Coast Line: New MRT Links In The East". Land Transport Authority. 15 August 2014. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "LTA unveils sites for Thomson Line terminal station". Channel News Asia. Retrieved 2011-06-17. 
  4. ^ http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/singapore-to-johor-baru-mrt-service-to-start-by-end-2024
  5. ^ "Singapore aims for fully cashless transport system by 2020: LTA". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 2017-08-14. 
  6. ^ "SMRT Trains Appointed to Operate the Thomson–East Coast Line". Land Transport Authority. 15 September 2017. 
  7. ^ http://img706.imageshack.us/img706/2343/tslinfo.png
  8. ^ "Thomson Line Depot To Be Constructed In Mandai". Land Transport Authority. Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 16 June 2011. 
  9. ^ "Speech by Mr Lui Tuck Yew, Minister for Transport, at the Inspection of Downtown Line 1 Station and Announcement of Thomson Line alignment, 29 August 2012, 10.00am at Telok Ayer Station". Ministry of Transport. 29 August 2012. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2012. 
  10. ^ "Caldecott – It's Beginning". Thomson Line Construction. Retrieved 16 January 2014. 
  11. ^ "Speech by Mr Raymond Lim – Doubling our Rail Network". Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts. Retrieved 2008-01-26. [permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Speech by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Transport, at DTL3 Tunelling Works Ceremony". Ministry Of Transport. Retrieved 11 July 2012. [permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Direct MRT link to Changi Airport planned". The Straits Times. 2013-05-30. 
  14. ^ "No Terminal 4 link on Eastern Region Line". asiaone. 2013-06-01. Retrieved 2013-06-04. 
  15. ^ "Changi T5 to land by mid 2020s, capacity to handle 50m passenger movements a year". The Straits Times. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  16. ^ "Names of MRT stations on Thomson–East Coast Line (East Coast stretch) announced". Today Online. 21 July 2016. 
  17. ^ Valerie Koh (21 July 2016). "Upcoming Thomson–East Coast Line may link to all terminals at Changi Airport". Today Online. 
  18. ^ "The Rail Report: Higher Reliability and Expanded Network in 2017 Press Room Land Transport Authority". www.lta.gov.sg. Retrieved 2017-01-20. 
  19. ^ GE Transportation Chosen by Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) To Supply the Signaling of New Thomson and Eastern Region Lines
  20. ^ a b "Singapore's LTA selects GE Transportation for driverless CBTC solution". Railway Technology. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2016.