Updated: 08/16/2014 02:01

Eastern Region Line, Thomson Line combined to form Thomson-East Coast Line

Map showing the East Coas stretch of the Thomson-East Coast Line. (© Photo: CNA)

Map showing the East Coas stretch of the Thomson-East Coast Line.( Photo: CNA)

A new MRT line will link commuters in northern and eastern Singapore when it's completed by 2024. 

The new line called the Thomson- East Coast Line, or TEL, was announced by Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew this morning. 

It'll be formed by linking the Thomson Line to the newly announced Eastern Region Line. 

"With the TEL, commuters from Woodlands travelling to East Coast will enjoy a seamless journey, and not have to make any transfers. Residents living near Marine Parade Road will only need half the time today, or about 20 minutes, to get to work in Shenton Way."

He said having a single line instead of two separate lines would reap economies of scale and operational efficiencies. 

The Land Transport Authority, LTA, said that the 13-kilometre East Coast stretch of the TEL will connect commuters living in the eastern parts of Singapore and who are not directly served by the rail network currently tp the heart of the city. 

These include those living in Tanjong Rhu, Siglap, Marine Parade, Upper East Coast and Bedok South. 

The East Coast stretch will also connect commuters to the North-South corridor. 

The 43 kilometre, fully underground Thomson-East Coast Line comprises 31 stations, seven of which are interchanges. 

It'll be connected to the five existing lines - namely the North-South, East-West, Downtown, Circle, North-East.

LTA said stations on the line are designed with more entrances and exits. 

Some of the entrances on the East Coast stretch will be connected to longer underpasses of up to 400 metres. 

They will shelter commuters against the weather, reduce the time taken to walk to and from the station, and improve safety by removing the need to cross roads. 

LTA said the TEL will also have several firsts. 

It'll have the world's first four-in-one train and bus depot. 

This will house buses, as well as trains for the TEL, East-West Line and Downtown Line. 

It can house around 220 trains and 550 buses. 

LTA will also build Singapore's first underground bicycle parks at four of the stations along the East Coast stretch of the TEL. 

The TEL is expected to cost $24 billion to build and will open in stages. 

LTA said some half a million commuters are expected to use the line in its intial years with the number doubling in the longer term.

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