Opening of Thomson-East Coast Line’s second stage delayed to Q3 2021

December 15, 2020

MRT line singpaore

This comes after a five-hour disruption of the line on 4 December, which was due to a signalling fault, prompted the authority to “more thoroughly” review the software of the system with the contractor.

The opening of the Thomson-East Coast MRT Line’s second stage has been pushed back by another six months to the third quarter of 2021, reported Channel News Asia citing the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

This comes after a five-hour disruption of the line on 4 December, which was due to a signalling fault, prompted the authority to “more thoroughly” review the software of the system with the contractor, wrote the LTA in a Facebook post.

The fault was then attributed by rail operator SMRT to a “software glitch” within a network component of the signalling system that was developed by French company Alstom. 

“As rail systems are complex, we will try to iron out as many teething issues as possible before opening the next phase,” said the LTA as quoted by CNA.

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Comprising six stations that runs from Springleaf to Caldecott, the Thomson-East Coast Line’s second phase was originally set to open by end-2020. It was rescheduled to Q1 2021 due to delays caused by the pandemic as well as measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

The line’s first stage – which comprises three stations in Woodlands North, Woodlands South and Woodlands – opened in January this year.

To span 43km, the entire Thomson-East Coast Line was originally slated to be fully operational in 2024 and serve around 500,000 commuters daily during the initial years, before increasing to around one million commuters in the longer term.

The completion of various construction projects is also expected to be delayed by up to a year, said LTA. Those affected include the Thomson-East Coast Line, Jurong Regional Line, Cross Island Line, the Circle Line Stage 6 and the North South Corridor.

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LTA added that it is yet to finalise the revised completion as well as the opening timelines for the remaining stages of such projects.

It attributed the delays to the suspension of construction work during the circuit breaker period, manpower crunch due to border closures and the disruptions to the global supply chain for construction materials.

“COVID-19 has impacted all sectors and its effects are especially pronounced in the construction industry. Although works have resumed progressively at all LTA work sites since 2 June 2020, strict safe management measures continue to be in place,” said the LTA.

LTA assured that it will continue exploring ways to safely expedite its projects and enable better connectivity.

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