Thomson-East Coast Line

The Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) — colloquially known as the 'brown line' or the 'Thomson Line' — is the sixth MRT line introduced to the train network and is coloured brown on the system map.

The Thomson-East Coast Line is a fully-underground MRT line, currently operated by SMRT Trains Ltd. and is designed to be a medium-capacity radial rapid transit line that consists of 32 stations, spanning 43km, when fully completed.

The first three stages of the Thomson-East Coast Line opened in 2020, 2021 and 2022, with subsequent stages opening in 2024 and 2026.

Serving as an alternative to the North-South Line (NSL), the Thomson-East Coast Line runs parallel from Woodlands to Marina Bay and provides commuters in the East Coast region with new access and connectivity to the train network.

Utilising Alstom's Urbalis 400 Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) signalling system, the trains on the Thomson-East Coast Line are capable of fully-automated operations and can run without any train attendant on board.

The Art in Transit (AIT) programme is integrated into all Thomson-East Coast Line stations.

At a Glance

Thomson-East Coast Line

First opened 31 January 2020

43 kilometres with 32 stations

Medium-capacity line with 4-car trains

Fully-automatic train operations

The Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) is operated by SMRT Trains.


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Line Diagram

Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) Line Diagram

Stage 4-5: TE23 Tanjong Rhu - TE31 Sungei Bedok stations are currently not in operation.
TE10 Mount Pleasant , TE21 Marina South and TE22A Founders' Memorial stations are currently not in operation.

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Stations

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History

Merging the Thomson Line and Eastern Region Line

Thomson Line

The Thomson Line (TSL) was initially announced in the Land Transport Master Plan 2008 (LTMP 2008) on 25 January 2008 as a 27km 18-station train line.

It was then extended to 30km with 22 stations when the final alignment was announced on 29 August 2012.

Eastern Region Line

The Eastern Region Line (ERL) was initially planned as a 40km rectangular line, with the northern section of it becoming part of the Downtown Line (DTL) stage 3.

The southern stretch of the original plan has now become part of the current Thomson-East Coast Line.

Finalised as Thomson-East Coast Line

On 15 August 2014, the TSL and ERL were announced to be merged as TEL, and the alignment and stations of the East Coast stretch were also announced that day.

A nine-year contract to operate the line was awarded to SMRT Trains Ltd. on 15 September 2017.


Thomson stretch

The Thomson stretch of the Thomson-East Coast Line consists of 22 stations spanning 30km, from Woodlands North to Gardens by the Bay.

Constructions for the Thomson stretch started on 27 June 2014 and passenger service for the final stage of this stretch started on 13 November 2022.

Thomson-East Coast Line 1 – TEL1

The first stage of Thomson-East Coast Line primarily serves as a connection of the Woodlands North and Woodlands South areas to the NSL.

The first stage was initially slated for opening at end-2019, but it was pushed to 31 January 2020 for additional tests to ensure the reliability of the line.

The Woodlands North station will also be connected to the future Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link opening in end-2026.

Thomson-East Coast Line 2 – TEL2

The second stage of Thomson-East Coast Line consists of six stations from Woodlands South to Caldecott and is initially planned to be completed by end-2020.

It was announced on 4 September 2020 that the opening date for TEL2 will be pushed to Q1 2021 due to the impact of COVID-19.

It was subsequently announced on 14 December 2020 that TEL2 will be delayed to Q3 2021, and other land transport projects will also be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was announced on 30 June 2021 that TEL2 will commence passenger service on 28 August 2021.

Thomson-East Coast Line 3 – TEL3

The third stage of Thomson-East Coast Line serves as an parallel route to the NSL, connecting Caldecott to Orchard, Outram Park and Gardens by the Bay.

This stage of the Thomson-East Coast Line brings direct connectivity to the East-West Line (EWL), North East Line (NEL) and DTL.

It was initially planned for completion by 2021, but the Transport Minister said on 11 May 2021 that TEL3 would be delayed by a year to 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Transport Minister said in reply to a parliamentary question (PQ) on 12 January 2022 that Mount Pleasant and Marina South stations will only open in tandem with completed developments in the respective areas.

Hence, only 11 of the 13 stations of TEL3 will open for passenger service on 13 November 2022.


East Coast stretch

The East Coast stretch of the Thomson-East Coast Line spans 13km, consisting of 9 stations from Tanjong Rhu to Sungei Bedok.

It also includes a three-in-one 36-hectares East Coast Integrated Depot (ECID) for the Thomson-East Coast Line, DTL and EWL near Sungei Bedok station.

Constructions for the East Coast stretch of the Thomson-East Coast Line commenced on 21 July 2016, together with the construction of the DTL3 extension and the ECID.

Thomson-East Coast Line 4 – TEL4

The fourth stage of Thomson-East Coast Line opens up rail connections in the East Coast region, from Gardens by the Bay to Bayshore station.

The Transport Minister said in reply to a PQ on 11 May 2021 that TEL4 will be pushed back by a year to 2024 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was initially slated to be completed by 2023.

It was announced on 5 March 2024 during the Ministry of Transport's Committee of Supply debate that the seven stations of the TEL4 will commence passenger service on 23 June 2024.

Thomson-East Coast Line 5 – TEL5

The fifth stage of Thomson-East Coast Line will serve as an alternative to the EWL and DTL and was initially slated for completion by 2024.

This stage of the Thomson-East Coast Line will connect the line to the DTL3 extension at Sungei Bedok.

The Transport Minister said in reply to a PQ on 11 May 2021 that TEL5 will be pushed back by a year to 2025 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Ministry of Transport's Committee of Supply debate on 5 March 2024, it was announced that TEL5 and the Downtown Line Extension will be opening in 2026 instead.


Future Line Extensions

Founders' Memorial Station

Engineering provisions for an additional station had been put in place between Gardens by the Bay and Tanjong Rhu stations.

The contract to build the new Founders' Memorial station was awarded on 7 January 2019, with construction works beginning in end-2019.

The new station will be completed in tandem with the new five-hectare memorial in 2028, showcasing the contributions of modern Singapore's founders.

Thomson-East Coast Line Extension

It was announced in the Land Transport Master Plan 2040 (LTMP 2040) on 25 May 2019 that Thomson-East Coast Line will be extended from Sungei Bedok to Changi Airport station.

It will connect the upcoming Changi Airport Terminal 5 with the existing Terminals 1 to 3 at the current Changi Airport station.

The branch line of the EWL, from Tanah Merah to Changi Airport stations, will be converted to the Thomson-East Coast Line by 2040.


Timeline of Events

Date Project Description
31 January 2020 Stage 1 Woodlands North - Woodlands South (3 stations)
28 August 2021 Stage 2 Woodlands South - Caldecott (6 stations)
13 November 2022 Stage 3 Caldecott - Gardens by the Bay (11 stations)
23 June 2024 Stage 4 Gardens by the Bay - Bayshore (7 stations)
2026 Stage 5 Bayshore - Sungei Bedok (2 stations)
In tandem with Founders' Memorial
(2028)
Founders' Memorial station Founders' Memorial station between Gardens by the Bay and Tanjong Rhu
In tandem with Mount Pleasant Housing Estate Mount Pleasant station Mount Pleasant station between Caldecott and Stevens
In tandem with Marina South developments Marina South station Marina South station between Marina Bay and Gardens by the Bay
By 2040 Thomson-East Coast Line Extension Sungei Bedok - Changi Airport
Changi Airport - Tanah Merah (Conversion from EWL to TEL)
Future Future stations between existing stations Station between Springleaf and Lentor

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Facts + Figures

Type
Medium-capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
Stations / Length
32 stations / 43km (2026)
Thomson stretch (future) - 22 stations / 30km
East Coast stretch (future) - 9 stations / 13km
Founders' Memorial Station (future) - 1 station
Depots
Mandai Depot
East Coast Integrated Depot (future)
Train Length
4 cars
Track Gauge
Standard gauge (1435mm)
Electrification
750V DC from third rail
Operation Type
Fully-automated operation
Signalling System
Moving-block Alstom Urbalis 400 CBTC

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