Do you live in any of the following areas?
- Bright Hill
- Upper Thomson
If so, I’d like to urge you to put away any sharp objects that are within your reach before I get on with my article.
In Sep 2020, a few months after he became our Transport Minister, Mr Ong Ye Kung had the displeasure of informing residents that the opening of Stage 2 of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) would be delayed by three months.
This meant it would only be completed in the first quarter of 2021.
Not too bad, right?
Well, remember how I asked if you lived in the six areas listed above? Those are the six stations proposed for Phase 2 of the TEL.
And if you happen to live near those proposed stations, you’re about to be very, very disappointed.
Opening of Stage 2 of Thomson-East Coast Line Will be Delayed Until 3rd Quarter of 2021
The opening of Stage 2 of the TEL has been delayed for a second time, this time by six months.
A signalling fault that disrupted train services on the TEL on 4 Dec contributed to the delay, according to The Straits Times.
The delay means the six new stations will only be completed and open to the public in the third quarter of 2021.
This will allow for a more thorough review of the rail system software, said the Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Monday (14 Dec).
“As rail systems are complex, it is better that we try to iron out as many teething issues as possible before opening the next phase. This is a key reason why TEL is being opened in phases,” it said.
The signalling fault led to a disruption in train services between Woodlands North and Woodlands South stations for over five hours in the morning, including peak hours.
These stations are two of the only three operational stations on the TEL, with the other one being Woodlands.
Better Connectivity, Shorter Travelling Time
As previously mentioned, there are six stations that will open as part of TEL’s Phase 2:
- Bright Hill
- Upper Thomson
According to LTA, around 100,000 households will benefit from the first two stages as they will be within walking distance from one of the nine stations, and they can also enjoy shorter travelling times.
In addition, TEL’s Phase 2 will offer better connectivity to two MRT lines:
- the Cross Island Line via Bright Hill Station
- the Circle Line via Caldecott Station
Phase 3 & 4 Delayed As Well
In total, the TEL comprises 32 MRT stations, including eight interchange stations.
Thanks to Covid-19, which has also delayed our holiday plans, stages three and four of the TEL have also been affected.
This delay can largely be attributed to the eight-week circuit breaker, when construction work was suspended.
Other reasons include supply chain disruptions for construction materials and a lack of manpower due to border restrictions.
Initially expected to be completed in 2024, the TEL will serve about 500,000 commuters daily.
Featured Image: TK Kurikawa / Shutterstock.com