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Stage 2 of Thomson-East Coast Line almost complete, to open in later part of 2020

SINGAPORE — With just two weeks before the first three MRT stations on Thomson-East Coast Line open, the authorities said that the next phase is already 90 per cent complete.

The interior of Springleaf MRT Station. It is one of the stations along the Thomson-East Coast Line and is scheduled to open in the later part of 2020.

The interior of Springleaf MRT Station. It is one of the stations along the Thomson-East Coast Line and is scheduled to open in the later part of 2020.

Singapore

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SINGAPORE — With just two weeks before the first three MRT stations on Thomson-East Coast Line open, the authorities said that the next phase is already 90 per cent complete.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced on Friday (Jan 17) that the second stage will be ready for opening in “the later part” of the year.

This will see another six stations operating: Springleaf, Lentor, Mayflower, Bright Hill, Upper Thomson and Caldecott, which will serve residents at Kebun Baru in Ang Mo Kio town, Sin Ming and Upper Thomson.

On Jan 31, three stations will open, namely Woodlands North, Woodlands and Woodlands South.

When fully operational in 2024 after opening in five phases, the Thomson-East Coast Line will consist of 32 new stations.

It is set to serve about 500,000 commuters in its initial years of completion. 

THE STATIONS AND THE PLACES THEY CONNECT 

The stations opening this year in the two phases will benefit about 100,000 households, reducing travelling times of residents.

For example, Sin Ming residents travelling to Republic Polytechnic in Woodlands will have their journey time halved, from 50 to 25 minutes, by taking the line from Bright Hill station to Woodlands North station.

Here is a quick look at the six new stations to be opened in the second phase:

  • Springleaf station, located along Upper Thomson Road, between Thong Soon Green and Springleaf Road, will bring commuters closer to the stretch of shophouses which are known for the eating places located there such as Springleaf Prata and Ampang Yong Tau Foo.

  • Lentor station, located near the intersection of Yio Chu Kang Road and Ang Mo Kio Ave 4, will serve residents of Lentor estate and other residences in the area, as well as the future teacher’s estate.

  • Mayflower station, located in the mature Ang Mo Kio and Kebun Baru estate, will serve residents in the area and students from CHIJ St Nicholas Girls School, Mayflower Secondary School and Ang Mo Kio Primary School. The station is the closest to being completed among the six in the second phase.

  • Upper Thomson station will bring commuters closer to dining establishments along Upper Thomson Road and to Thomson Plaza.

  • Bright Hill station located along Sin Ming Avenue will serve residents as well as students at Ai Tong Primary School. It will be an interchange station when it is linked with the future Cross Island Line.

  • Caldecott station will be the other interchange station in phase two, linking to the existing Circle Line. This will offer greater connectivity to the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, Lighthouse School and Mount Alvernia Hospital. 

CHALLENGES IN CONSTRUCTION

Builders faced several challenges in constructing the line, including having to build around dense residential areas, as well as having to preserve facilities above ground. 

For Caldecott station, the builders had to use a method known as mining to ensure that some establishments located directly above the station, such as the Singapore Action Group of Elders and St Joseph's Institution International, would not be affected. 

Instead of excavating the entire area above and around the station, the builders would mine underneath the establishments.

This is the first time that mine tunnelling is done in mixed soil conditions, where the inconsistent soil compositions are unpredictable and makes the task more difficult. It is normally done on hard rock such as granite.

For Lentor station, the builders used a “top-down” method of construction, where the entire station was built by excavating one level at a time via an underground shaft, which minimised soil movements so that residential estates in the vicinity were not affected. 

Typically, a station would be built by digging up the entire area needed for the station, before constructing it from the ground up. 

This is not the first time the top-down method has been used. Telok Ayer and Chinatown stations on the Downtown Line were also constructed in the same way. 

Related topics

Thomson-East Coast Line mrt LTA transport upper thomson Sin Ming

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