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Tanah Merah station to get new tracks, platform

SINGAPORE — Commuters heading towards Changi Airport and Expo MRT stations can enjoy faster travel come 2024, with the addition of a new platform at Tanah Merah MRT station.

Tanah Merah station to get new tracks, platform

Tanah Merah MRT station in 2024. Source: LTA

SINGAPORE — Commuters heading towards Changi Airport and Expo MRT stations can enjoy faster travel come 2024, with the addition of a new platform at Tanah Merah MRT station.

The platform will allow for the construction of an additional train track, so that trains moving in various directions from the station will have dedicated tracks, reducing the waiting times that have long frustrated commuters who travel along that stretch.

Currently, trains travelling to and from Changi Airport share one track at Tanah Merah station, which means a train headed into the station has to wait for the one at the station to move out before it can enter. The existing track for trains from Pasir Ris also merges with the track for those coming from Changi, adding to the waiting time.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) will built a new platform running parallel to the existing ones.

The new track built at that platform will then cater to trains headed towards Pasir Ris, freeing up the middle two platforms for trains travelling to and from Changi Airport. Work will also be carried out such that the track for trains coming from Pasir Ris will no longer merge with that of trains travelling from Changi.

When work is completed, there will be four tracks and three platforms in all, from the current three tracks and two platforms. Currently, train intervals to and from Changi Airport are between seven and 13 minutes. With the improvements, they are expected to fall below seven minutes, the LTA said.

The authority will call for a tender next year and work is slated to begin in 2016. Asked why it would be completed only in 2024, an LTA spokesperson said the improvement work was being done in tandem with construction of the coming East-West Line depot.

A bank analyst who works at Changi Business Park said his wait at Tanah Merah can sometimes stretch to 10 minutes. “It’s really infrequent for the amount of human traffic there,” said the 32-year-old, who only wanted to be known as Ken.

But 10 years is a long wait for things to improve, he said, adding: “I believe they can do more during the peak hours.”

Mr Joseph Yadao, 33, a marketing communications manager who also works at Changi Business Park, said his trip from Bedok to Expo can take 10 minutes “when the stars align”, but if he misses a train, it adds another six minutes or more to his journey.

“It gets worse if there are technology exhibitions, or if the private schools conduct their exams there, as the crowd will be even bigger,” he said.

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