- The groundbreaking ceremony marks the start of construction of the Thomson Line (TSL), a new rail line that will connect the northern part of Singapore to the Central Business District (CBD) and Marina Bay area, and add capacity to the north-south corridor. It is major step toward our vision of doubling the length of Singapore’s rail network by 2030.
Greater Connectivity and Significantly Improved Travel Time for Commuters
- The TSL is expected to open in phases from 2019. By 2021, the 30-km long, fully underground line will comprise 22 stations, including interchanging with all of our current MRT lines at six stations: Woodlands, Caldecott, Stevens, Orchard, Outram Park and Marina Bay.
- With connections to the North-South East-West Line (NSEWL), North East Line (NEL), Circle Line (CCL) and Downtown Line (DTL), the TSL will link communities in Woodlands, Sin Ming, Thomson and Kim Seng to the CBD and the rest of the island. When the line fully opens, it is projected to see a daily ridership of around 400,000 commuters.
- The TSL will bring significant time savings to commuters travelling along the north-south corridor. For example, a resident from Springleaf travelling to Great World City will cut his or her journey time by half, as the direct train ride from Springleaf station to Great World station will take only 30 minutes, compared to an hour’s journey today by bus and MRT. Woodlands South residents travelling to Orchard will be able to do so within a 35-minute train ride on the TSL, compared to a 50-minute journey by bus and MRT today. With the interchanges, commuters will also have more alternate routes to different destinations across the rail network. For instance, Sin Ming residents working in Outram Park can now take TSL instead of having to travel by bus before transferring to NSEWL. With TSL, his or her journey will be reduced by at least 15 minutes from 45 minutes currently.
Bigger Piece of Construction Pie for Local Contractors
- Local contractors and local joint ventures are getting a big share of the TSL construction pie. To date, approximately S$1.4 billion worth of contracts, or six of 22 major contracts have been awarded to our local players and local joint ventures. (Please refer to Annex A for more details.)
- Three remaining contracts for civil works at Orchard, Marina South and Gardens by the Bay stations will be awarded by year-end.
Engineering Firsts and Breakthroughs
- For the first time in Singapore’s rail history, Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) engineers will be using a new construction technology known as ground freezing at Marina Bay station to prevent water seepage during tunnelling works. At this site, a series of pipes will be inserted into the ground, before brine is introduced into the pipes, converting the surrounding ground water into strong, water-tight ice walls. In addition, tunnel construction process at Marina Bay will be even more complicated as the site involves a three-tunnel intersection of the TSL, North-South Line (NSL) and CCL.
- Construction work will also be carried out under some existing rail stations, requiring innovative engineering solutions. Orchard station, for example, is located in a densely built-up area with high pedestrian traffic. LTA engineers have to carry out mining works under the NSL station’s multiple-level platforms, taking into consideration the existing foundation piles, with minimum disruption to ongoing rail and retail operations. Adding to the complicated site conditions, the interfacing works with the NSL station can only be carried out within a very tight schedule, after the line’s passenger service hours each day.
Safety Pledge for A Safe Workplace
- In the presence of Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew and together with LTA senior management and engineers, all 19 contractors on the project pledged to promote a strong safety culture and to commit to an uncompromising safety environment.