Stations buzzing on first day of operations for third stage of Thomson-East Coast Line
Stations buzzing on first day of operations for third stage of Thomson-East Coast Line. The third stage of Singapore’s newest MRT line, the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL), opened for passenger service on Sunday, bringing hordes of people who took photos of the trains and stops.
Commuters on their way to a morning workout comprised families, seniors, and fitness enthusiasts. On the first day of official operations, Mr Jacky Zhu, 40, his wife, and their three to eight-year-old children were eager to board the train. The family boarded the MRT at Great World station at 9 a.m. on their way to Gardens by the Bay. “I wanted to know how long my daily commute to my office in Marina Bay would take,” said the software engineer, who works for a fintech firm.
The 11 new stations that opened on Sunday include Stevens, Napier, Orchard Boulevard, Orchard, Great World, Havelock, Outram Park, Maxwell, Shenton Way, Marina Bay, and Gardens by the Bay. Commuters were given a sneak glimpse of the route on Friday, with free rides provided along the 11 new stops but no connections to existing MRT lines. 500,000 people arrived that day, according to the Land Transport Authority. Stevens and Orchard TEL stations connect to the Downtown Line, Outram Park to the East-West and North East lines, and Marina Bay to the Circle and North-South lines.
Mr Dylan Tan, 31, boarded a train from Havelock station at 9 a.m. to meet his companions at Beauty World station for a morning hike in the newly opened Rifle Range Nature Park. Mr Tan, a bank relationship manager who enjoys hiking on weekends, estimated that getting to the Rail Corridor would take 45 minutes by public transportation from his home in Tiong Bahru. He claims that his commute has been reduced to 20 minutes because he no longer has to take a bus to Newton station before changing to the Downtown Line.
The initial stage of the TEL, with three stations, will open in January 2020. With the official debut of its third stage on Sunday, the line will reach from Woodlands North station to the city center and Gardens by the Bay. Ten more stations, stretching from the Founders’ Memorial in Marina East to Sungei Bedok, will open in two stages by 2025.
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