Tuesday, October 29, 2013

About ERL

The Eastern Region Line (ERL) was a line announced in 2001 during the Transport Minister's speech at the opening of the Dover station along the East-West Line. This plan saw the ERL envisioned as an oblong line around the eastern districts in Singapore, forming an orbital system there. Subsequently, by 2007 the plans were revised. The northern half of the line which would have been part of phase 1 in the original plan was amalgamated with the then Bukit Timah Line (BTL) and the Circle Line Downtown Extension (DTE) to form the new Downtown Line (DTL). DTE now forms what is DTL1 together with the added Bugis station. BTL now forms what is DTL2 with the northern part of the original ERL being DTL3.

The southern part of the original orbital line is what remains as today's ERL, announced again during the 2008 Land Transport Master Plan. Details were sketchy at best but it now seems to be confirmed that this line will be the eastern extension of the Thomson Line (TSL). This means that trains will run continuously across both systems without the need for passengers to change to another train/line. At this point though, it remains unclear whether the ERL will retain its name and be operated as a single service over 2 lines (like Sydney's Western line & Northern line which share colour on maps and service flow but are named separately) or if the ERL will just be named as the Thomson Line direct.

In any case, current plans see the line having 10 stations along 13km of track with a depot at the current location of SMRT's Changi depot. This depot will be redeveloped to house the East-West Line at an elevated depot, the ERL and bus depot at ground level and the DTL depot underground. It is also understood that one of the stations will be partially built as a shell structure to be fitted out once the surrounding area has suitably developed with sufficient commercial viability to open.

New redeveloped Changi depot (for EWL, ERL & DTL)

Key points of the ERL:
Number of stations - 10 stations
Length of line - 13km
Through-service with Thomson Line (trains will be the same)
Interchange with Downtown Line at eastern terminus

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