In 2030, the great war between the East and West will finally end.
There will no longer be the “East side, best side” conundrum as the East and West will be connected by the upcoming Cross Island Line (CRL).
Like how the North versus South arguments ended with the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), the east and west will unite. There will be 12 new MRT stations opening for the first phase, connecting the two ends of Singapore.
The CRL started construction on 18 January 2023.
Construction for CRL Phase 1 Began
On Wednesday (18 January 2023), the Minister for Transport, Mr S. Iswaran, announced that the first phase of the CRL began at the Cross Island Line Phase 1 Groundbreaking Ceremony.
Phase 1 of the CRL will have 12 stations: Aviation Park, Loyang, Pasir Ris East, Pasir Ris, Tampines North, Defu, Hougang, Serangoon North, Tavistock, Ang Mo Kio, Teck Ghee and Bright Hill.
The CRL will connect east and west commuters to other MRT lines when completed. The interchanges will be at Pasir Ris (East-West Line), Hougang (North-East Line), Ang Mo Kio (North-South Line) and Bright Hill (TEL).
The CRL will help alleviate the congestion and strains on the current transport lines. I hope this relieves the peak-hour crowds on the trains.
Mr Iswaran commented that the CRL would provide “greater connections which will give commuters many more travel route options and redistribute commuter traffic from busy interchanges along the Circle Line”.
Greater Connection to Jurong Lake District and the Changi Region
The CRL will connect significant hubs and towns. More residents can tap into the MRT network with new stations extending deep into the east and west.
Mr Iswaran says that eight in 10 households will be within a 10-minute walk of a train station when the CRL is fully operational next time.
Next time, west and east couples will no longer live in long-distance relationships.
With CRL Phase 1 opening, you can save up to 70 minutes of commuting, which means you can have one more hour of sleep in the mornings.
The CRL is expected to see over 600,000 daily ridership when it opens in 2030, hitting a million in the long run.
The west is getting a significant upgrade after years of kampung life alongside the CRL. They also get a dedicated Jurong Region Line that integrates and connects the western region slated to open in 2026.
New Engineering Feats with CRL Construction
Construction of the CRL is not an easy task.
Singapore’s soil comprises different layers of materials, ranging from soft marine clay to tough rock.
To traverse the island would be a marvellous engineering feat. Navigating through the different soil types for the machinery would be an arduous task.
The LTA will put special machines and added precautions in place to ensure the safety of the Land Transport Authority workers. They also have to stabilise the ground in softer rock zones and ensure the integrity of adjacent buildings.
For example, they will use specialised equipment, such as low-headroom mobile cranes, to cater to height restrictions at the upcoming Pasir Ris station construction.
Most of Singapore’s telecommunications and systems are underground. The construction of the CRL will also have to navigate through them so as not to disturb current operations carefully.
When CRL is completed, the MRT line will be more than 50km long and will be Singapore’s longest fully-underground line.
After the CRL, it is back to the battle of which side has better food.
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Featured Image: Land Transport Authority
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