Thomson-East Coast Line Stage 2 Delayed Again Till Q3 2021, System Software To Be Reviewed

TEL Stage 2 Delayed Till Q3 2021, Cross Island Line & Jurong Region Line Also Held Up For About 1 Year

Residents in Sin Ming, Ang Mo Kio and Woodlands have been waiting patiently for stage 2 of the Thomson-East Coast Line to be opened since construction works started in 2014.

The 6 new MRT stations would provide less-accessible areas like Bright Hill and Lentor with a quick link to the Circle Line and North-South Line. They were 90% complete in Jan, and set to open by end-2020.


However, Covid-19 hit, and the project was initially delayed till the 1st quarter of 2021.

Now, it’s been delayed again, and the earliest that we can enjoy riding on TEL2 will be the 3rd quarter of 2021.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) delivered the sad news in a Facebook post on Monday (14 Dec) night.


It also attributed the delay partly to a review of the system software.

Covid-19 affected construction industry badly

In its Facebook post, the agency said that Covid-19 has affected the construction industry especially hard.

Work on TEL2 was suspended, along with all construction work, during the ‘Circuit Breaker’ period earlier this year.


Even when they resumed from 2 Jun, the pandemic affected the project by:

  1. Depriving it of manpower due to border closures
  2. Disrupting the global supply chain for construction materials

TEL1 hit by signalling fault on 4 Dec

Covid-19 might be an explanation for the initial TEL2 delay, but there’s a more recent incident that contributed to the further delay.

On 4 Dec, TEL stage 1 – which comprises 3 stations in Woodlands that opened in Jan – was hit by a signalling fault.


Though service was restored about 5 hours later, it was determined that the disruption was partly caused by the system’s software.

LTA prompted to review system software

Thus, LTA was prompted to review the software more thoroughly with the contractor.

However, it said “rail systems are complex”.

So as the LTA wants to try to resolve as many teething issues as possible before opening TEL2, it will take some time.


Up to a year more to complete all projects

More specifically, the time it will now take to complete TEL2 will be stretched to up to a year more, the LTA said.

Besides TEL2, other long-anticipated projects will also be pushed back.

They include:

  1. Cross-Island Line
  2. Jurong Region Line
  3. Circle Line stage 6
  4. North-South Corridor

The LTA doesn’t have an exact timeline yet for the completion of these projects.

They’re still being finalised, and the public has been told to await further updates.

All good things come to those who wait

The LTA has said it’ll continue finding ways to complete the projects more quickly, in a safe way.

Residents will undoubtedly be frustrated that they will have to wait a longer time to make use of the MRT stations at their doorsteps after putting up with construction work for years.

But all good things come to those who wait, and it’s better for the lines to operate smooth smoothly when they open, than for issues to crop up after opening.

Since we’ve been waiting for this long, TEL2 should be the best-run line in Singapore when it finally opens.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and LTA.

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