A groundbreaking ceremony was held today in Singapore to mark the start of work on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) East Coast stretch, Downtown Line 3 Extension (DTL3e) and the East Coast Integrated Depot.
These three major schemes, which are being delivered in tandem, will contribute to the Land Transport Authority’s aim of increasing the size of Singapore’s urban rail network to 360 kilometres by 2030.
DTL3e is the final phase of the Downtown Line (DTL) project. The 2.2-kilometre extension includes two new stations: Xilin and Expo. An interchange station at Sungei Bedok will connect the DTL to the 13-kilometre eastern section of the TEL, which will create nine new stations along Singapore’s south east coast.
DTL3e will open in 2024 and is expected to contribute further to the rising popularity of the DTL. Passenger numbers rose from 83,000 in October 2015 to 250,000 in May 2016, said Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport, Khaw Boon Wan.
The TEL East Coast stretch is scheduled to open in two phases between 2023 and 2024. LTA is now also considering a further extension of the TEL from Sungei Bedok to Changi Airport Terminal 5 and the existing East-West Line (EWT) MRT station at Changi Airport.
The East Coast Integrated Depot is also expected to be completed in 2024. The depot, which will have three levels, is a world first, combining depots for the DTL, TEL and EWT in a single facility with a footprint of just 36 hectares.
Khaw Boon Wan said the depot, which will also incorporate a bus depot next door, will harness automatic train inspection technology and predictive maintenance to address current reliability problems.
“All these are useful innovations and we will see what we can adapt for Singapore,” said Khaw Boon Wan. “That’s why we are confident that the train reliability problem can be fixed… But we do need time. It’s not an instant solution that we can fix by tomorrow. But fixed it shall be.”
Graphics courtesy of Singapore’s Land Transport Authority.