East-West Line (EWL): The Longest MRT Line in Singapore

·7-min read

Many Singaporeans rely on public transport, specifically the MRT, to get around the country. It’s one of the most convenient and quick ways to travel within Singapore, and you don’t have to deal with traffic jams.

The East-West Line MRT, also known as the EWL and more commonly the “green line”, is the second MRT line in Singapore to enter service, and it is also the longest. Here’s an introduction to the EWL.

 

East-West Line Overview

MRT line

East-West Line

Description

Connects the east and west Singapore, running through the south and city areas (CBD)

Ends of the line (first/ last stations)

Tuas Link MRT (west), Pasir Ris MRT and Changi Airport MRT (east)

MRT interchanges (to North-South Line, NSL)

Jurong East, Raffles Place and City Hall

Key MRT interchanges (to Downtown Line, DTL)

Bugis, Tampines, Changi Airport

Key MRT interchanges (others)

Buona Vista (CCL), Outram Park (NEL, TEL)

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East-West Line MRT Map

east-west line (ewl)
east-west line (ewl)

Source: Land Transport Authority

 

East-West Line MRT Stations

  • Tuas Link (EWL)

  • Tuas West Road (EWL)

  • Tuas Crescent (EWL)

  • Gul Circle (EWL)

  • Joo Koon (EWL)

  • Pioneer (EWL)

  • Boon Lay (EWL)

  • Lakeside (EWL)

  • Chinese Garden (EWL)

  • Jurong East (EWL, North-South Line (NSL))

  • Clementi (EWL)

  • Dover (EWL)

  • Buona Vista (EWL, Circle Line (CCL))

  • Commonwealth (EWL)

  • Queenstown (EWL)

  • Redhill (EWL)

  • Tiong Bahru (EWL)

  • Outram Park (EWL, North-East Line (NEL), Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL))

  • Tanjong Pagar (EWL)

  • Raffles Place (EWL, NSL)

  • City Hall (EWL, NSL)

  • Bugis (EWL, Downtown Line (DTL))

  • Lavender (EWL)

  • Kallang (EWL)

  • Aljunied (EWL)

  • Paya Lebar (EWL, CCL)

  • Eunos (EWL)

  • Kembangan (EWL)

  • Bedok (EWL)

  • Tanah Merah (EWL)
    - which splits into

  • Simei (EWL)

  • Tampines (EWL, DTL)

  • Pasir Ris (EWL)

    and

  • Expo (EWL, DTL)

  • Changi Airport (EWL)

 

East-West Line: A Timeline of its History

Today, the East-West Line MRT is made up of 35 MRT stations, and spans 56.6km. The main line starts from Pasir Ris and ends at Tuas Link. A separate branching line known as the Changi Airport Branch Line links Tanah Merah to Changi Airport and Expo.

  • 12 Dec 1987: City Hall to Outram Park opened

  • 12 Mar 1988: Extended west to Clementi

  • 5 Nov 1988: Extended west to Lakeside

  • 4 Nov 1989: Extended east to Tanah Merah

    • Formal separation of North South Line and East West Line

  • 16 Dec 1989: Extended east to Pasir Ris

  • 10 Mar 1990: Branch Line from Jurong East to Choa Chu Kang opened

  • 6 Jul 1990: Extended west to Boon Lay

  • 10 Feb 1996: Branch Line merged with the North-South Line

    • No longer part of East-West Line

  • 10 Jan 2001: Airport Branch line to Expo opened

  • 18 Oct 2001: Dover station opened

  • 8 Feb 2002: Airport Branch line extended to Changi Airport

  • 28 Feb 2009: Extended west to Joo Koon

  • 18 Jun 2017: Extended west to Tuas Link

  • 25 May 2019: Conversion of Changi Airport Extension to be part of the Thomson-East Coast Line Extension by 2040

Most of the MRT stations in the East-West Line were opened in phases between 1987 to 1990, starting with the stations running from City Hall to Outram Park. With the Tanah Merah extension, the North-South and East-West Lines were split and trains were not required to cross lines between City Hall and Raffles Place. The original system was completed in 1990 when the line was extended to Boon Lay.

Boon Lay extension (BLE)

This extension was announced on 30 December 2004, and would serve residents in Jurong West Town as well as those working in the Jurong Industrial Estate. The two MRT stations, Pioneer and Joo Koon, were officially opened on 28 February 2009.

Tuas West extension (TWE)

On 11 January 2011, the Tuas West extension, an extension of the East-West MRT line from Joo Koon to Tuas Link was announced. The extension spans 7.5km, with a twin-tracked MRT viaduct, four above-ground stations, and a 26-hectare depot for the maintenance of trains. The stations in the expansion are Gul Circle, Tuas Crescent, Tuas West Road, and Tuas Link. Construction began on 4 May 2012, and service began on 18 June 2017.

Additional platform at Tanah Merah station

On 25 August 2014, the Land Transport Authority announced that a new platform would be added to the existing Tanah Merah station, speeding up travel times for commuters who were going towards Expo and Changi Airport.

In addition, the existing tracks would be extended to connect the East-West line to the new East Coast Integrated Depot at Changi. This improvement work is scheduled to be completed in 2024, and will make Tanah Merah the second station to have three island platforms after Jurong East.

West Coast extension (Jurong Region Line)

In 2001, plans for a new LRT system in the Jurong region were announced as part of a concept plan for the area. In 2013, these plans formally became the Jurong Region Line (JRL). The West Coast Extension was announced in 2015, and in 2018 the station names and alignments were revealed. The project is slated to open in phases from 2026 onwards. You can read more about the JRL here.

Bugis is one of the busiest stops on the East-West Line (EWL) - PropertyGuru Singapore
Bugis is one of the busiest stops on the East-West Line (EWL) - PropertyGuru Singapore

Bugis is one of the busiest stops on the EWL

Living in the Far East and Far West

You may have heard of the phrases “East side best side”, or “West side best side”. But depending on which side you’re on, deciding where to live boils down to amenities and accessibility. In the east, there are towns like Marine Parade, Bedok, and Tampines, which are the largest and oldest towns in Singapore.

For the west, there are towns like Clementi, Queenstown, Jurong East, and Jurong West. A good portion of the estates that the East-West Line serves are all fairly mature.

If you want to live within proximity of this line, there are no shortage of options for you to consider. These are mostly mature estates, so the asking prices of these units may run higher than usual.

In the west, for example, Buona Vista has grown into a bustling business and lifestyle hub. One-North Residences is located right next to Fusionopolis, and is also very near to the National University of Singapore.

Another development within walking distance to the EWL is Stirling Residences - it is a stone’s throw away from Queenstown MRT.

Tengah, the newest town from HDB, is also situated far west. If the idea of living in a ‘forest town’ sounds appealing, keep your eye on its BTO launches so you can snag a unit there.
For the east, Tampines is one of the hottest estates - it is full of amenities, including malls like Tampines One, My Tampines Hub, and Tampines Mall. If Tampines is where you want to live, there is a BTO launch for that estate coming up in August. Another development to check out is The Santorini, a condo inspired by the beautiful Greek island of the same name.

 

More FAQ related to the East-West Line (EWL)

How long is the East-West Line?

The East-West Line’s 35 MRT stations span across 56.6km, and it would take around 78 minutes to journey from one end of the line to the other.

Is the East-West Line the oldest MRT line in Singapore?

No, the oldest MRT line is the North-South Line (NSL), or more affectionately known by Singaporeans as the ‘red line’. The East-West line is the second oldest MRT line.

When was the East-West Line established?

The first EWL MRT stations (City Hall through Outram Park) were opened in 1987, but the line was formally established in 1989.

 

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