Commuter convenience in new Arup-designed Thomson-East Coast Line 1 stations

Jennifer Shand Jennifer Shand Australasia Press Office,Sydney
30 January 2020

Travelling around the northern part of Singapore becomes easier this week when the new Thomson-East Coast Line 1 (TEL1) comes into full service, with Arup providing engineering and architectural consultancy services. 

Just over 4km long and completely underground, the first stage of the new Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line has three ultramodern, spacious MRT stations, including an interchange station for the existing North-South Line (NSL). 

Arup led the design team and worked on the three stations (Woodlands North, Woodlands and Woodlands South), a crossover track, 2.5km mainline twin tunnels and 4km of reception tunnels. 

Our station designs centred on convenience for travellers and the improved connectivity to centres such as the Republic Polytechnic and the wider developing Woodlands region which is home to more than 250,000 people.

Innovations included changing the Woodlands interchange station alignment to save commuters time transferring between platforms and providing four entrances/exits for ease of access.

The project team overcame many short-term challenges for long-term gains, working closely with LTA on several design solutions that brought value not just to the overall precinct accessibility, but also to end-users, developers and spaces in the future. ”

Tan Yoong Heng Project Manager

The opening of the first phase of Singapore’s sixth MRT line is a significant milestone for rail developments in Woodlands: it is 24 years since the NSL Woodlands station started passenger services. 

For TEL1, Arup provided multidisciplinary services including civil and structural engineering, geotechnics, tunnel design, alignment, transport consulting, geographic information systems, acoustic consulting, risk, security and resilience consulting and environmentally sustainable design. 

Arup is also playing an integral role in the challenging third and fourth stages of the Thomson-East Coast Line, which pass through the central business district and along the east coast respectively.

Opening in stages by 2024, the full 43km TEL will comprise 32 stations, including seven interchange stations linking to the five existing railway lines. The completed line will enhance connectivity in Singapore’s north, central and east, and strengthen the resilience of Singapore’s rail network, providing commuters more travel route options.  

TEL1 is the latest addition to Singapore’s railway network since the opening of Downtown Line 3 in 2017.