Before the idea of having a Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) came about, the Thomson Line (TSL) and Eastern Region Line (ERL) were planned as two separate MRT lines. The TSL would run between Woodlands and Marina Bay, while the ERL would loop around Jalan Besar and Expo. However, the LTA saw that merging the two lines would be worth more than the sum of their parts, and thus the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) was born.
The first stage commenced on 31 January 2020. Three out of 32 stations were open to the public and they were Woodlands North, Woodlands and Woodlands South.
More recently, Transport Minister S Iswaran announced that 11 more stations are expected to start service in the second half of 2022. This will be Thomson-East Coast Line Stage 3. The entire Thomson-East Coast Line will cover a distance of 43km and consist of 32 stations. The Thomson-East Coast Line is also driverless and runs fully underground. But there’s no need to worry – driverless trains have been in operation for years now.
Thomson-East Coast Line Map: Which MRT Stations Are Part of the TEL?
Once the entire line has been constructed, it will link the Northern and Eastern regions via the Central region. Its two ends are Woodlands North (TE1) and Sungei Bedok (TE31), and the MRT will run through places such as Upper Thomson, Stevens, Orchard, Shenton Way, Marina Bay, Tanjong Rhu, Marine Parade, and Sungei Bedok.
For people residing in the North, the TEL offers a quicker way to go to Orchard or the CBD region. Additionally, the stations expected to open later this year are Stevens, Napier, Orchard Boulevard, Orchard, Great World, Havelock, Outram Park, Maxwell, Shenton Way, Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay.
Mount Pleasant and Marina South will not open in 2022. Instead, it will only be ready once the housing developments in the area are completed.
Thomson-East Coast Line: The Different Construction Stages and Timelines
There are a total of five stages which will open from 2020 to 2025.
The following table shows the various construction phases for the MRT stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line.
Thomson-East Coast line stage 1: 2020
Thomson-East Coast line stage 2: 2021
Thomson-East Coast line stage 3: H2 2022*
Thomson-East Coast line stage 4: 2024
Thomson-East Coast line stage 5: 2025
*Do note that TE10 Mount Pleasant and TE21 Marina South will not be part of the Thomson-East Coast Line stage 3 opening.
It’s a long list, but that’s not the end of it yet. Under the Land Transport Master Plan 2040, the Thomson-East Coast Line will see an extension sometime in 2040. This will extend from Sungei Bedok Station to the upcoming Changi Airport Terminal 5, as well as Changi Airport itself.
This extension will allow those living in the South to gain easy access to Changi Airport. It will also link Changi Airport directly to sightseeing spots such as Marina Bay and Gardens By the Bay, which could mean improved convenience for tourists. For Singaporeans, it would mean that those living in places such as Marine Parade can finally travel overseas without calling a taxi.
Thomson-East Coast Line: How Will the TEL Benefit Citizens?
Currently, those living in areas in the North such as Woodlands and Sembawang have very few transport options to the Downtown Line, and by extension, a large portion of the business hub. Likewise, those living in the Marine Parade and Siglap region currently lack accessible MRT transport from their estates.
With the emergence of the TEL, citizens will be able to gain access to stations such as Shenton Way MRT, Raffles Place MRT, and Orchard MRT. Shenton Way MRT and Raffles Place MRT are next to prime business districts with plenty of amenities nearby, and there are also lots to do at Orchard.
What Are Some Properties to Look Out for Along the Thomson-East Coast Line?
Mature estates are typically a more popular choice for new homeowners. Marine Parade is well developed with plenty of amenities and eateries and is within close proximity to East Coast Park and Marina Bay. It has always been a hot spot for higher income citizens, but lacks good MRT accessibility. With the TEL set to arrive in Marine Parade by 2023, developments such as Coastline Residences and Seaside Residences may become more attractive in the future.
Tanglin is also another popular spot for those looking for a more upscale area to live in. Situated at the heart of Singapore, Tanglin is in close proximity to areas such as Orchard, Newton, and other central parts of Singapore.
When TE12 Napier opens later this year, Tanglin will enjoy even more connectivity to other places in Singapore. This would likely increase the popularity of properties such as 120 Grange.
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