The opening of a new MRT station is a thing to be celebrated in Singapore. The latest MRT stations to open include the Woodlands North MRT Station.
This MRT station is meant to connect to the cross-border Rapid Transit System (RTS) Link between Singapore and Johor Bahru. Safe to say though that all of us know that the RTS link has been delayed about a million times.
Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan said on Saturday that the MRT station will be located adjacent to the RTS Link Station “if and when” it materialises.
There will also be three other MRT stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) which were opened a couple of weeks before passenger service started. This allows commuters to get familiar with the entrances, exits and amenities.
These stations include Woodlands North, Woodlands and Woodlands South.
Those who attended the open house on Saturday were allowed to ride the trains between these stations for free.
Mr Khaw thanked residents in the area for their patience and understanding, given that construction began way back in 2014.
In total, three stations were opening in Woodlands Town in Stage 1 of the TEL.
He said, “Now it is time for you to enjoy the fruits of your patience.”
Some residents who lived nearby spoke to The Straits Times about how the construction ha affected her. One of them was Juliana Daud whose house is located beside the new Woodlands Station.
She was forced to place a mattress against her room window to minimise the noise from the construction of the train stations over the course of the last few years.
The TEL will be Singapore’s sixth MRT line and will run over 43km and have 32 stations by the time it has finished construction in 2024.
It will also be the longest MRT line and will connect neighbourhoods like Thomson, Toa Payoh, Marine Parade and Bedok to the Central Business District.
Mr Khaw acknowledged that it was an expensive project which took a toll on tax players, but that it was worth it at the end of the day.
While the $25 billion construction cost is a “financial burden on tax payers… it is money well spent.”