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Authorities aim to open Thomson-East Coast Line's Stage 4, from Tanjong Rhu to Bayshore, in first half of 2024: Chee Hong Tat

The Acting Transport Minister also emphasised safety as a priority ahead of the launch, and said the testing process was expected to take at least 3 months.

Acting Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat sets target for the opening of the Thomson-East Coast Line's fourth stage in the first half of 2024.
Acting Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat sets target for the opening of the Thomson-East Coast Line's fourth stage in the first half of 2024. (PHOTO: LTA)

SINGAPORE — Acting Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat has revealed that the authorities are targeting the opening of the fourth stage of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) in the first half of 2024.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) had said in December 2023 that they were engaged in train testing for TEL Stage 4. This stage comprises seven stations: Tanjong Rhu, Katong Park, Tanjong Katong, Marine Parade, Marine Terrace, Siglap, and Bayshore.

Chee emphasised ensuring safety and reliability of the line before its public launch in an interview with Chinese-language daily Lianhe Zaobao, published on Tuesday (9 January).

Once this testing phase concludes, operator SMRT will proceed with additional testing, staff familiarisation, and operation and maintenance training. According to a follow-up from The Straits Times, the LTA could not confirm when the stations' handover to SMRT would take place, but would provide more details when available.

Testing process expected to span at least three months

Chee mentioned that the train testing process is expected to span a minimum of three months. This timeline, however, remains contingent upon any issues that might arise.

For example, he highlighted how signalling problems had caused a delay in the launch of the line's second stage in 2021. The TEL project currently comprises three completed stages:

What does the Thomson-East Coast Line offer commuters?

The Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), as indicated on the LTA website, aims to provide improved accessibility for residents in the east and along the North-South Corridor by offering closer access to train stations, thereby facilitating faster travel into the city.

Commuters using the TEL can anticipate a reduced travel time of 35 minutes from Woodlands South to Orchard, as opposed to a 50-minute journey by bus and MRT. The TEL will see eight interchanges linking to major lines such as the East-West Line (EWL), North-South Line (NSL), North-East Line (NEL), Circle Line (CCL), Downtown Line (DTL), and the Cross Island Line (CRL).

Once fully operational, this line is expected to serve about 1 million commuters daily, alleviating crowding on the East-West and North-South Lines while offering expanded route options for commuters.

Thomson East Coast line (PHOTO: LTA website)
Thomson East Coast line (PHOTO: LTA website)

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