Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November update

Been awhile since we've had any updates on the Eastern Region Line (ERL) construction. At this point, there's not much moving yet that is visible from the ground apart from Soil Investigations. Expect more from next year when they will probably announce the station locations. From January next year, expect to see more of the markers for soil investigations near the proposed alignment and stations. These include various equipment that monitors water levels and soil composition, usually encased in blue, red or yellow boxes or cylinders. The top may mention the client (which should be LTA) and the date that the borehole was drilled. If it says LTA and is along the corridor of Marine Parade Rd, Upper East Coast Rd, Tanjong Rhu Rd or Meyer/Amber Rd, it is probably for the ERL. We'd appreciate any pictures being submitted if you happen to come across any.

Additionally, this month saw the release of the Draft Masterplan 2013. Some highlights of the eastern region of Singapore include the building up of more MRT lines in the years to come.

URA summary of potential future lines in eastern Singapore

Currently, URA uses a teal colour to represent the ERL. It remains unknown if this would be the final colour representing the ERL as it is meant to operate together with the Thomson Line offering a through-service between Woodlands and the east coast. URA lists the ERL at 16km whereas LTA sources mention 13km. This is probably due to 13km being the main focus as a commercially-viable alignment from Marina East area to the Bedok corner area where it meets the Downtown Line extension (DTLe). The remaining 3km may be used to bring the line further into Changi to meet with other line extensions (yet announced) and the future Cross Island Line (CRL). These plans are sketchy at most for now.

Representation of future eastern rail network by URA. Do note this is neither final nor definite as there are a few errors.

For now, not much that can be done to determine the station locations nor the timeline other than to wait for next year. We do know, however, from educated guessing that the earliest the ERL could be completed is 2023. Based on the TSL announced 2012, the line fully completes in 2021. ERL will be announced at least 2 years later, making its completion 2 years later at 2023 potentially. This is later than the intended 2020 target set initially, but to be expected as with recent construction projects which get delayed due to various reasons. Once again, we'd appreciate if you'd be willing to share any photos of Soil Investigations you spot to help us pin point the alignment better.

Photo credits - URA Draft Masterplan 2013 Eastern Region

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