East-West Line

The East-West Line is the second line to be introduced into the MRT system and is coloured green on the system map. SMRT is currently operating this line.

With 35 stations from Tuas Link to Pasir Ris, and a branch line to Changi Airport, the 56.7km East-West Line is currently the longest train line in Singapore. In operation since 1987, the line connects the eastern and western ends of Singapore through the city centre, serving as one of the main transport modes for cross-island travels.

The shuttle service runs to Changi Airport and Expo, allowing a transfer to the rest of the East-West Line at Tanah Merah.

It is the second line in Singapore to have undergone a re-signalling project, converting the line from semi-automatic to fully automated operations.


At a Glance

East-West Line

First opened 12 December 1987

56.7km with 35 stations

High capacity line with 6-car trains

Fully-automatic train operation

Line operated by SMRT Trains

Line Diagram

East-West Line (EWL) Line Diagram

Rolling Stock



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Initial Stages

The East-West Line was originally part of the North-South Line, which began from Yio Chu Kang to Toa Payoh on 7 November 1987. It was further extended southwards to Outram Park on 12 December 1987, completing the first phase of the initial system. Trains would run directly between Yio Chu Kang and Outram Park via Raffles Place. As part of phase 1A of the initial system, passenger services on the line was extended westwards to Clementi on 13 March 1988.

In phase 2B of the initial system, the line was extended westwards to Lakeside on 5 November 1988, and northwards to Yishun on 20 December 1988. Phase 2A was completed on 4 November 1989, which connects Marina Bay to Raffles Place, and Tanah Merah to City Hall. This starts the separation of the North-South Line and the East-West Line of the MRT system. A further extension of phase 2A from Tanah Merah to Pasir Ris opened on 16 December 1989.

As part of phase 2B, a branch line extends off Jurong East station commenced service on 10 March 1990, serving between Jurong East and Choa Chu Kang. The branch line is now part of the North-South Line with the opening of the Woodlands extension.

The last section of phase 2B between Lakeside and Boon Lay opened on 6 July 1990, marking the completion of the initial system of the MRT.

Learn more about the history of the MRT Initial System here >

Line Extensions

Dover Station

Dover station was the first station to be built along an existing line. Regular services between Buona Vista and Clementi had to carry on during the station's construction, making the task even more challenging. The construction work could also only be carried out at night to minimise disruptions to the students of Singapore Polytechnic.

During the construction phase of the station, trains would have to slow down within the construction zone. A steel tunnel was also used to prevent debris from falling onto the tracks, which could potentially disrupt train services.

Dover station opened on 18 October 2001 and is the second station in the MRT system to use side platforms.

Changi Airport Extension

The Changi Airport Extension allows easy access to the airport from the city conveniently by train, with a transfer at Tanah Merah station. Although Changi Airport is conveniently linked to the city through public buses, plans of an extension to the East-West Line only started when the Singapore Expo was in construction.

The extension to Expo opened on 10 January 2001, and to Changi Airport on 8 February 2002. As both stations were built in the 21st century, a futuristic design was adopted, giving a contrast to the other East-West Line stations.

The Changi Airport extension is accessible by boarding the train at platform C or D of Tanah Merah station.

Boon Lay Extension

The Boon Lay Extension, which was completed on 28 February 2009, consists of Pioneer and Joo Koon stations and a 3.8km twin tracked viaduct. The extension is linked to the existing Boon Lay station of the East-West Line.

The extension benefits the residents living in the Jurong West Town and those working in the Jurong Industrial Estate by reducing the travel time by up to 15 minutes, enhancing the connectivity between the Jurong West area and the other parts of Singapore.

Tuas West Extension

The western section of the East-West Line was extended by another 7.5km with four more stations, linking Joo Koon to Tuas Link. The extension provides a faster way to travel around the Tuas industrial area, and to the Tuas Checkpoint.

As part of the extension, a 26-hectare depot after Tuas Link provides stabling and maintenance facilities for additional trains, catering for future capacity expansion of the North-South Line and East-West Line.

Initially slated to be opened by the end of 2016, it was pushed to 18 June 2017 to allow more time to test and fine-tune the new signalling system.

Tuas South Extension

A new 2-station 6km Tuas South Extension from Gul Circle station will also be constructed at a later date.

Infrastructure Upgrades

Retrofitting Elevated Stations with Half-Height Platform Screen Doors

To enhance commuters' safety and reduce the incidence of track intrusions, all 36 elevated stations on the North-South and East-West Lines are retrofitted with half-height platform screen doors in four stages between August 2009 and June 2012.

The half-height platform screen doors are 1.5 metres high and are installed along the edge of the station platform to create a barrier separating the trackside and the platform.

Re-signalling Project

The signalling system of the North-South and East-West Lines was upgraded to the SelTrac Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) system from Thales. Trains will be allowed to run at an interval of 100 seconds during peak periods, down from 120 seconds with the legacy system.

With the addition of new trains and the upgrading of the signalling system, commuters would expect to have shorter waiting times during the peak hours and there would be a potential 20% improvement to the existing capacity.

The full-day passenger service trial of the upgraded signalling system was conducted every Sunday beginning 29 April 2018, followed by the full switchover to the new signalling system from 28 May 2018.

Sleeper Replacement

The sleeper replacement programme involves the replacement of the railway sleeper as timber sleepers are only designed to last for 15 to 25 years and must be replaced when signs of wear and tear are shown. About 188,000 sleepers along the 131km of tracks on the North-South and East-West Lines will be replaced with concrete sleepers in this programme, which have a lifespan of about 50 years.

The programme started in November 2012, with works for the East-West Line beginning in the middle of May 2015. It was completed in December 2016, with about 92,000 sleepers along the East-West Line replaced. The new sleepers allow trains to move along the tracks smoothly, allowing a safe, smoother and faster ride.

New Platform at Tanah Merah

A new platform will be added at Tanah Merah station, enabling shorter waiting times to Expo and Changi Airport stations.

The third platform will serve eastbound travel to Pasir Ris, while the existing eastbound platform will be converted for train services towards Changi Airport. With two platforms serving the Changi Airport extension, trains will be able to arrive and depart the station at shorter intervals, reducing waiting times on the line.

Additional tracks will also be constructed to serve the new platform and the East Coast Integrated Depot, which will house trains for the East-West Line, Downtown Line and Thomson-East Coast Line.

The new platform and depot are expected to be completed by 2024.

Conversion to Thomson-East Coast Line for the Changi Airport branch

Announced in the Land Transport Master Plan 2040 on 25 May 2019, the Changi Airport branch of the East-West Line from Changi Airport to Tanah Merah will be converted to the Thomson-East Coast Line system by 2040.


Date Project Description
7 November 1987 Phase 1 Yio Chu Kang - Toa Payoh (5 stations)
(Now part of the North-South Line)
12 December 1987 Phase 1 Toa Payoh - Outram Park (9 stations)
(Direct train service to Outram Park via Raffles Place)
12 March 1988 Phase 1/1A Official opening ceremony marking the completion of Phase 1 and 1A
13 March 1988 Phase 1A Outram Park - Clementi (6 stations)
5 November 1988 Phase 2B Clementi - Lakeside (3 stations)
20 December 1988 Phase 2B Yio Chu Kang - Yishun (2 stations)
(Now part of the North-South Line)
4 November 1989 Phase 2A City Hall - Tanah Merah (9 stations)
(Separation of the North-South Line & East-West Line)
16 December 1989 Phase 2A Tanah Merah - Pasir Ris (3 stations)
10 March 1990 Phase 2B Jurong East - Choa Chu Kang (3 stations)
(Operates as a branch line from Jurong East, now part of the North-South Line)
6 July 1990 Phase 2B Lakeside - Boon Lay (1 station)
10 January 2001 Changi Airport Extension Tanah Merah - Expo (1 station)
18 November 2001 Changi Airport Extension Operates as a through line from Boon Lay to Expo
18 October 2001 Dover Station Opening of Dover station between Buona Vista and Clementi
8 February 2002 Changi Airport Extension Expo - Changi Airport (1 station)
22 July 2003 Changi Airport Extension Operates as a shuttle between Tanah Merah and Changi Airport
28 February 2009 Boon Lay Extension Boon Lay - Joo Koon (2 stations)
27 May 2011 Jurong East Modification Project Opening of Jurong East Platform A and B
December 2016 Sleeper Replacement Completion of the sleeper replacement programme on the East-West Line
18 June 2017 Tuas West Extension Joo Koon - Tuas Link (4 stations)
29 April 2018 Re-signalling Project Commencement of the upgraded signalling system on the East-West Line
2024 New Platforms at Tanah Merah Opening of new platform at Tanah Merah and completion of the East Coast Integrated Depot

Facts + Figures

High capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
Stations / Length
35 stations / 56.7km (currently operational)
Tuas Link to Pasir Ris - 50.3km
Changi Airport branch - 6.4km
Ulu Pandan Depot
Changi Depot
Tuas Depot
East Coast Integrated Depot (future)
Train Length
6 cars
Track Gauge
Standard gauge (1435mm)
750V DC from third rail
Operation Type
Fully-automated operation
Signalling System
Moving-block Thales SelTrac Convergence CBTC
Fixed-block Westinghouse FS2000 ATC (Fallback)