What Do You Need to Know About the Thomson East Coast Line?

History of the Thomson East Coast Line

Initially, the Thomson Line (TSL) and Eastern Region Line (ERL) were planned as two separate MRT lines. The TSL would run between Woodlands and Marina Bay, while the ERL would loop around Jalan Besar and Expo. However, the LTA saw that merging the two lines would be worth more than the sum of their parts, and thus the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) was born.

Following the announcement on 15 August 2014, a portion of the ERL would be integrated into the TSL, forming the TEL. The northern section of the ERL has been integrated into Stage 3 of the Downtown Line, while the southern section retains its independence as part of the ERL. 

Commencing its first stage of operations in 2019, the entire Thomson East Coast Line will cover a distance of 43km, and consist of 32 stations. The TEL is also driverless, and runs fully underground. But there’s no need to worry – driverless trains have been in operation for years now.


What MRT stations will the Thomson-East Coast Line link?

The MRT has long been a key mode of transport in Singapore - PropertyGuru Singapore

The MRT has long been a key mode of transport in Singapore

Once the entire line has been constructed, it will link the Northern and Eastern regions via the Central region. Its two ends are Woodlands North (TE1) and Sungei Bedok (TE31), and the MRT will run through places such as Thomson, Stevens, Orchard, Shenton Way, Marina Bay, Tanjong Rhu, Marine Parade, and Upper East Coast. 

The opening phase will take place in Woodlands, linking it to Woodlands North and Woodlands South. Woodlands station, which is currently on the North-South line, will become an interchange. This means that commuters will be able to access the TEL via Woodlands MRT station.


Construction Stages and Timelines

Thomson East Coast Line (TEL) will go operational in five different stages from 2019 to 2024 - PropertyGuru Singapore

The TEL will go operational in five different stages, from 2019 to 2024 

The following table shows the various construction phases for the MRT stations on the TEL. 

Phase 1: 2019

TE1 Woodlands North

TE2 Woodlands

TE3 Woodlands South

Phase 2: Q3 2021
(the initial plan for its opening in end 2020 has been 
postponed by six months)

TE4 Springleaf

TE5 Lentor

TE6 Mayflower

TE7 Bright Hill

TE8 Upper Thomson

TE9 Caldecott

Phase 3: TBC

TE10 Mount Pleasant

TE11 Stevens

TE12 Napier

TE13 Orchard Boulevard

TE14 Orchard

TE15 Great World

TE16 Havelock

TE17 Outram Park

TE18 Maxwell

TE19 Shenton Way

TE20 Marina Bay

TE21 Marina South

TE22 Gardens by the Bay

Phase 4: 2023

TE22A Founders’ Memorial

TE23 Tanjong Rhu

TE24 Katong Park

TE25 Tanjong Katong

TE26 Marine Parade

TE27 Marine Terrace

TE28 Siglap

TE29 Bayshore

 Phase 5: 2024

TE30 Bedok South

TE31 Sungei Bedok

It’s a long list, but that’s not the end of it yet. Under the Land Transport Master Plan, the TEL Extension will see an extension to the TEL some time in 2040. This will extend from Sungei Bedok Station to the upcoming Changi Airport Terminal 5, as well as Changi Airport itself. 

This extension will allow those living in the South to gain easy access to Changi Airport. It will also link Changi Airport directly to sightseeing spots such as Marina Bay and Gardens By the Bay, which could mean improved convenience for tourists. For Singaporeans, it would mean that those living in places such as Marine Parade can finally travel overseas without calling a taxi.


How will the TEL benefit citizens? 

Currently, those living in areas in the North such as Woodlands and Sembawang have very little transport options to the Downtown Line, and by extension, a large portion of the business hub. Likewise, those living in the Marine Parade and Siglap region currently lack accessible MRT transport from their estates. 

With the emergence of the TEL, citizens will be able to gain access to stations such as Shenton Way MRT, Raffles Place MRT, and Orchard MRT. Shenton Way MRT and Raffles Place MRT are next to prime business districts with plenty of amenities nearby, and there is also lots to do at Orchard.


What are some properties to look out for along the TEL?

Mature estates are typically a more popular choice for new homeowners. Marine Parade is well developed with plenty of amenities and eateries, and is within close proximity to East Coast Park and Marina Bay. It has always been a hot spot for higher income citizens, but lacks good MRT accessibility. With the TEL set to arrive in Marine Parade by 2023, developments such as Coastline Residences and Seaside Residences may become more attractive in the future.

Tanglin is also another popular spot for those looking for a more upscale area to live in. Situated at the heart of Singapore, Tanglin is in close proximity to areas such as Orchard, Newton, and other central parts of Singapore. 

When TE12 Napier opens in 2021, Tanglin will enjoy even more connectivity to other places in Singapore. This would likely increase the popularity of properties such as 120 Grange. As a bonus, its completion date is also in 2021 as well, which means that Tanglin residents will be able to enjoy access to Napier MRT station upon moving in.


To get more guides like this, check out PropertyGuru.