Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong at the new Marine Parade station of TEL4. He grew up in the Marine Parade area in the 1980s. Photo courtesy: X/@LawrenceWongST

The famed mass rapid transit (MRT) network of Singapore, one of the best in the world, is still in expansion mode, with seven new stations set to open from Sunday, June 23, on the Thomson-East Coast Line Stage 4.

There was an opening ceremony for the Thomson-East Coast Line Stage 4 (TEL4) yesterday, when Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong told the public that 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”.

The seven new stations are, in that order: Tanjong Rhu (TE23), Katong Park (TE24), Tanjong Katong (TE25), Marine Parade (TE26), Marine Terrace (TE27), Siglap (TE28), and Bayshore (TE29).

Posting a photo of himself at the new Marine Parade station, PM Wong yesterday wrote on X: “Thrilled to be back in Marine Parade! Celebrating the brand-new MRT station and the launch of the Thomson-East Coast Line Stage 4 #TEL4. This milestone marks a further boost to public transport connectivity, and will bring added convenience to all Singaporeans!”

Singapore MRT map
Map courtesy: www.lta.gov.sg

The Singapore Land Transport Authority (LTA) offered commuters free preview rides along the new seven TEL4 stations yesterday from noon to 9pm. During this TEL4 public preview, visitors enjoyed games and activities, and learned more about the nearby heritage landmarks, recreational attractions, and food places in the stations’ vicinity.

The TEL4 e-brochure urged commuters to take advantage of the new stations and help to make Singapore greener. Listing all the attractions close to the seven new stations, the brochure encouraged Singaporeans to combine a commute with recreational experiences.

Infographic
Infographic courtesy: www.lta.gov.sg

A CNA report quoted PM Wong as saying that he grew up in Marine Parade in the 1980s. “Back then, I wished there was an MRT station near my home in Marine Terrace, then I could have taken the train directly,” he said.

The prime minister highlighted the benefit to school students from these new MRT stations, as more than 10 schools were within walking distance from the new TEL4 stations.

Young commuters play the MRT Mysteries Game during the TEL4 public preview in Singapore
Young commuters play the MRT Mysteries Game during the TEL4 public preview in Singapore. Photo courtesy: Facebook/Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving

With these seven new MRT stations opening this weekend, only a few more stations are left to open for the entire 32-station Thomson-East Coast Line to become operational. The next phase, from Bayshore to Sungei Bedok, is expected to be finished by 2026.

Singapore MRT infogaphic
Infogaphic courtesy: www.lta.gov.sg

PM Wong said yesterday that an MRT extension would connect the Thomson-East Coast Line to Changi International Airport by the middle of the next decade, alongside the opening of Changi Terminal 5. As per reports, construction on T5 is set to begin in 2025.

By the mid-2030s, TEL and its extension will connect people from Changi Airport at one end to the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System Link at the other end. Then “our train network will connect Singaporeans from their doorstep to the world”, said Wong.

TEL train infogaphic
TEL train infogaphic courtesy: www.lta.gov.sg

“We are certainly not done expanding the rail network,” said the prime minister. He said that within the next decade, about 80 per cent of Singaporeans would be within 10 minutes’ walk to a train station.

He also emphasised upon the determination and capability of the Singapore Government to get things done. “In many other countries in the world, including in advanced countries, people talk about doing projects, but very often it’s not so easy to get things done…. Here in Singapore, when we say we will do something, we make sure we deliver it,” he said.

One of the key features of the Thomson-East Coast Line is the design attention paid to special needs. Signage in larger fonts, Braille text, and more lifts are some of the design benefits.

PM Wong said that TEL was built based on consultations between the LTA and organisations such as the Singapore Association for the Deaf and the Singapore Association for the Visually Handicapped.

“These [design] features will benefit [not only] persons with disabilities, but also seniors and families with young children. They will enable all Singaporeans to take the train comfortably and confidently,” said the prime minister.