SINGAPORE: The fourth stage of the Thomson-East Coast Line was opened for revenue service on June 23, serving seven new stations in the southeast of the island.

Created by merging two projects, TEL has been opening in stages from west to east. Services began operating along the Thomson Road corridor from Woodlands North towards the city centre, reaching Gardens by the Bay in November 2022.


Prime Minister Lawrence Wong joined local school children sampling the preview trains on TEL4 following the formal opening on June 21.

The 10·8 km fourth phase comprises the bulk of the East Coast segment, adding stations at Tanjong Rhu, Katong Park, Tanjong Katong, Marine Parade, Marine Terrace, Siglap and Bayshore. It was inaugurated on June 21 with a ceremony at Marine Parade attended by Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat. A free preview service was operated for the rest of the day, giving around 380 000 passengers the opportunity to sample the line.


According to Land Transport Authority, TEL4 will provide ‘alternative travel options for the East Coast area’, relieving the original East-West Line which runs further inland. With the opening of this section, an estimated 235 000 households are within a 10 min walk of a TEL station.

TEL stations have more entrances than those on earlier lines to improve accessibility, as well as longer pedestrian underpasses to offer sheltered walking routes. Three stations at Marine Parade, Marine Terrace and Bayshore feature Singapore’s first underground bicycle parking facilities, which will also be provided at Sungei Bedok.

The fifth stage of the line will see services extended from Bayshore to Sungei Bedok, where interchange will be provided with an extension of the Downtown Line from Expo via Xilin. Both routes are expected to open in 2026, along with the multi-level East Coast Integrated Depot serving the Downtown Line, East-West Line as well as TEL.


An additional station at Founders’ Memorial, between Gardens by the Bay and Tanjong Rhu, is expected to open in 2028. Longer-term plans will see TEL continuing to Changi Airport by the mid-2030s, in conjunction with the opening of Terminal 5. It would then absorb the Airport – Expo – Tanah Merah branch on the East-West Line.

‘We are certainly not done expanding the rail network’, Wong emphasised during the opening ceremony. ‘Over the next decade, we will open over 50 new MRT stations, including the new Jurong Region Line and Cross Island Line — our seventh and eighth MRT lines.’