11 more Thomson-East Coast Line MRT stations on track to open by end of year
All civil and structural works as well as systems integration and testing activities for the third stage of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) have been completed, with 11 new stations set to open by the end of this year.
The Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it handed over the 11 stations to SMRT on Wednesday (Aug 17) for the rail operator to carry out operational testing over the next few months in preparation for the opening.
In March, Transport Minister S. Iswaran said the 11 new TEL stations, running from Stevens through Orchard and Outram Park to Gardens by the Bay, would begin operating in the second half of 2022.
Mr Iswaran said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that LTA completed the testing of TEL3's signalling systems over the weekend, and SMRT will conduct further tests to ensure all systems are ready for service by year end.
SMRT and LTA have been testing the integrated systems and trains for TEL stages 1 to 3 since the start of the year.
Between Feb 26 and May 29, train services on the TEL started later on weekends to carve out additional engineering hours for these tests.
Singapore's sixth and newest rail line has been beset by faults in recent months.
On April 27, 50 commuters were stuck in a stalled train between Woodlands and Woodlands South stations for more than 1½ hours due to a train fault that morning.
On May 19, a signal fault caused trains to move more slowly in both directions across the entire TEL, which currently spans nine stations, resulting in an additional 10 minutes of waiting time for commuters.
Then on July 6, a signal fault led to a 3½-hour disruption in train services along the entire line, leaving commuters stuck on six stalled trains for at least 40 minutes.
The first stage of the TEL between Woodlands North and Woodlands South stations opened in January 2020, with the second stage - comprising six stations between Springleaf and Caldecott - opening in August last year.
The last two stages of the TEL, Stage 4 and Stage 5, comprising a total of 10 stations from Founder's Memorial to Sungei Bedok, are expected to open around 2024 and 2025.