Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Route predictions

Finally, here is our speculative map of the station locations for Eastern Region Line (ERL). We expect the announcement to be made sometime in August, so here are our take on the locations. Once again, we reiterate that these station locations are part of our prediction based on available information and site conditions, not the final location or announcement by relevant authorities.

Based on information that we have collected over the past few years, we have established the following parameters for ERL:
  1.  The line will be 13km long, and will be a continuation of the Thomson Line from Gardens by the Bay.
  2. There will be 10 stations, named E1 to E10, on the line. E10 on the eastern end of the line will connect directly to Changi Depot. The downtown line will also be extended by 1 station to E10, where it interchanges with the ERL
  3.  One of the stations within the section of E1 – E5 will be a future station.

Looking into the available space, construction feasibility and the locations of soil investigations done in the past 2 years, we have come out with 2 possibilities of the overall alignment of ERL. The 2 options differ by the locations of E3 and E4. These 2 scenarios are the result of conflicting locations of SI. We suspect that one of the 2 possible alignments for this section is an alternative proposal for comparison and costing purposes. Similar exercises had been done for Thomson Line prior to the official announcement of the station locations.

Expected alignment
We expect the alignment to run northwards from Gardens by the Bay towards Tanjong Rhu, where it will run along Tanjong Rhu Road, Meyer Road, swing up to Amber Gardens, and merge back to Marine Parade Road just before Parkway Parade. The line then runs along Marine Parade Road until Bayshore where it gradually merges with Upper East Coast Road. The advantage of this alignment is that it avoids most of the old beach and sea wall, and hence reduces complexity during construction.

Here’s a run through of the locations of the MRT stations.

Predictive route - Option A

E1 – Bay East / Gardens by the Bay East / Marina East
This station primarily serves the Bay East section of the Gardens by the Bay. The area to the east of the station will be developed after the lease for the Marina East Golf Course expires. We expect that the station will only open after Marina East is developed.

Approximate location station E1 - Bay East/Gardens by the Bay East/Marina East

E2 – Tanjong Rhu

Tanjong Rhu will serve the private residential estate of Tanjong Rhu, and is in walkable distance from the newly opened Singapore Sports Hub too. Hence it will join Kallang, Mountbatten and Stadium stations as the 4th MRT gateway to the Sports Hub. We have sited the station next to areas planned for commercial developments.

Approximate station location - E2 Tanjong Rhu

E3 – Fort Road / Katong Park / Meyer

This station will serve the private residential developments around the Fort Road/Tanjong Rhu Road junction, and Dunman High School. It is also in close proximity to Kampong Arang HDB estate, which previously was only served by Mountbatten 600m away.

Approximate station location option A - E3 Fort Road

E4 – Tanjong Katong / Amber

The choice for locating the station was a hard one as soil investigations were spread over a very large area. For this scenario we have chosen Amber Gardens since the road is straight, compared to Amber Road which has very tight bends and not conducive to construct a station. Buildings along Amber Gardens have to larger setback too, and the line does not affect any conserved building too.

Approximate station location option A - E4 Tanjong Katong

E5 – Marine Parade

We are very confident of this one. The station will definitely be located near Parkway Parade and Marine Parade Central, since this is essentially the heart of the region. We expect the station to be long and narrow with structures avoiding the north side of Marine Parade Road where the old sea wall is located. We are also expecting a pair of crossovers or cripple siding on the east side of this station, towards E6.

Approximate station location - E5 Marine Parade

E6 – Marine Terrace / Telok Kurau
This station serves another important part of the area, Marine Terrace and Marine Crescent. This area forms the main bulk of the HDB estate, and is also between many schools, including Tao Nan School, St Patrick’s School, CHIJ Katong Convent, Victoria Junior College and Ngee Ann Primary.

Approximate station location - E6 Marine Terrace/Telok Kurau

E7 – Siglap

After cutting through 2 major canals, we arrive at Siglap, we have sited the station next to Laguna Park and Lagoon View and near to Victoria School. This location is very convenient too since it is next to the Siglap Linear Park, hence allowing residents and visitors in this area to walk or cycle to the station using a car-free path.

Approximate station location - E7 Siglap
E8 – Bayshore

This station is next to a cluster of high density private housing along Bayshore Road. It also potentially serves a new residential district on the east side of the road.

Approximate station location - E8 Bayshore

E9 – Bedok South

Located right next to Temasek Secondary School, this station will also serve the new residential district. There is also a cluster of HDB flats on the north side of Upper East Road which will also benefit from this station.

Approximate station location - E9 Bedok South

E10/DT36 – Bedok Corner / Upper East Coast

This is an interchange station for ERL and DTL, and is also the terminal station for ERL until it is extended towards Changi Airport T5 and eventual link with the Cross Island Line. The station is next to the famous Bedok Corner Food Centre and Bedok Camp. From here commuters can transfer from ERL to the DTL towards Expo and Tampines, and vice versa. The ERL platform will occupy the upper platform level while the DTL will be housed in the lower platform level. With this station, the original oblong-loop of the former Eastern Region Line announced back in 2001 is complete.

Approximate station location - E10/DT36 Bedok Corner

Alternative route
For the alternative route, the alignment is swung towards the south between Fort Road and Marine Parade. This alignment avoids Meyer Road entirely. We now believe that this is the alternative alignment due to changes to the master plan and also our understanding of the challenges during the construction stage.

Predictive route - Option B

E3 – Fort Road / Katong Park / Meyer
We have located the station near the flyover for this option, hence avoiding any land acquisition and road realignment. This location is also directly on East Coast Park, hence providing an opportunity for a new recreational hub to be located here and allow visitors direct access to the park without having to pass through residential areas.

Approximate station location option B - E3 Fort Road

E4 – Tanjong Katong / Amber

For this option, we have located the station on Amber Road. In this alignment option, we expect that there will be some acquisition of land.

Approximate station location option B - E4 Tanjong Katong

In closing, we would like to reiterate that these station locations are part of our prediction based on available information and site conditions, not the final location or announcement by relevant authorities. That said, do let us know your thoughts/opinions/views on the predicted route for ERL.

Edit: Expected project completion (final handover) is 30 March 2022. We expect that the route will become commercially operational (open to public) from mid-2022.


  1. I hope that your prediction comes true. Especially the one on ER8 (Bayshore) because I am staying at Costa Del Sol! .-P What does the dotted brown lines mean in your predictions?

    1. Hi, the dotted lines show the 400m radial distance from the stations. The locations of the stations are based on the SI locations we had observed in the past 3 years.

  2. Hello,did you have any information on the marking for E6 marine terrace mrt? Based on your prediction location for E6,it seems there arent any space available there for mrt.

    Would the mrt be above ground or under?

    Highly vested. Thanks for your feedback

    1. All new lines in residential and commercial districts since 2000 will be underground. There is more than enough space at Marine Terrace, the road is wide enough to accommodate the entire station below, and there is a large space next to the police post for an exit and ventilation building.

    2. Here's a view of the area where our speculated E6 station may be located. You will find it wide enough to accomodate a station here. Furthermore, as seen with the Thomson Line, LTA has been employing the use of stacked station configurations more often to fit stations into tight locations. These can be done for the Eastern Region Line as well.


  3. Have seen some comments and opinions with regards to the accuracy of the speculation thus far. We'd love to hear more from you for sure. Just a reminder of our previous attempt at station placement for the Thomson Line, you may view them here.

    Part 1: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=93961455&postcount=3056
    Part 2: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=94136431&postcount=3103
    Part 3: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpost.php?p=94567982&postcount=3152

    Also pertinent to note that Part 3 was released a day before the official announcement of the Thomson Line station locations. As with our speculation for the Thomson Line station locations, all information is based on evidence and observations that we have collected over a period of time.

    Announcements as of late are normally conducted during a ministerial visit to a transport facility. If you were to look at the recent track record for the announcement of station locations, you would find these instances.

    DTL3 station locations - announced during Transport Minister's visit to one-north CCL station
    TSL station locations - announced during Transport Minister's visit to Telok Ayer DTL1 station

    Again, we are expecting that there may be a ministerial visit to Marina South Pier MRT station ahead of its opening, potentially in the following month. Station location announcements are seldom made in conjunction with new station or extension actual-day openings. This tends to take away the media-worthiness of the opening itself as the focus and interest shift to the newly revealed locations of the future stations. Do try to recall the last few lines openings, from Downtown Line 1 through to the Circle and North East Lines. To date, no station locations have been revealed during these lines' openings and we expect the Eastern Region Line announcement to be no different.

    That said, we may always be a little wrong as our info is largely an educated guess (like our placement of a station at Nassim on the Thomson Line, missing out on the Orchard Boulevard station).

  4. So when they announce on the stations,would the station exactly location also be announced together? How many yrs does ot take to build mrt as i was told it should be announced during next election...

    Im so anxious cos am looking to buy a hdb in E6 area but waiting for prices to drop further in 2015....

    Many thanks for your feedback!

    1. When they announce the stations the exact station locations are given as well as a rough outline of the station footprint as well. It usually takes 7 years to build an MRT line, some times even more.

  5. Very interesting and thanks for publishing. Some questions:
    - What is the base map you've used and is there a colour legend I can refer to?
    - Can I assume that construction disruption will primarily happen in and around MRT stations and lesser so around the MRT line?
    - When does the government need to do a land buy back? Can a MRT line be tunnelled under existing privately owned buildings without having to purchase that land?

    1. Hi, here are the answers.
      1. The base map is from onemap.sg. The hybrid option is switch on with the URA masterplan overlaid on the streetmap. If you like to look at landuse information, I suggest that you go take a look at the URA MP 2014 at www.ura.gov.sg/maps
      2. Generally yes, however some part of the tunnels may be constructed using cut and cover method, especially at the crossovers. We mentioned that there may be one on the east side of E5 Marine Parade. There should be another one near E10 Bedok Corner. Another possibility where they will be major works are launch shafts that are in between stations, i.e not attached to any stations.
      3. Land acquisition tends to happen only when they require the space for construction works or even the structure itself. So technically you can say that yes the tunnels can run under any property without any requirement of acquiring that plot of land. However, if it is deemed unsafe due to soil conditions, the government may acquired the land, or even as in the case of CCL, offer residents to move out during the construction period. What we usually see based on our experience, is that land acquisition tends to happen where there is compelling redevelopment potential at the same time by maxing out the plot ratio, eg. Pearl's Centre, Marymount Terrace; Or where there is not other land available for a station exit, eg. Thomson Post Office, Stevens Station

  6. Just a note to all, it seems that the indicative completion date for ERL is in 2022.

  7. Thomson-East Coast Line, connecting North and East, ready by 2024 - Channel NewsAsia - http://www.channelnewsasia.com/mobile/latestnews/thomson-east-coast-line/1313898.html

  8. hello, few questions

    1) the line (not the station) seems to run almost directly under our landed pty east of tanjong katong. how would this affect us?
    2) what is the actual construction timeline?
    3) what does the 400m radius dotted line suggest/indicate?

    1. Hi, do take a look at the announced station locations. Amber will be located west of the road instead of east of it as we previously predicted. We did not expect LTA to acquire the 6 semi-Ds and the walk-up apartment.

      1) Normally it will not affect you. However as a safety measure, LTA may request to install monitoring devices in your property to detect any possible ground movement.
      2) The actual construction timeline will last from 2015 all the way to 2023. Construction activity in 2015 to early 2016 will mainly concentrate on services diversion. Thereafter civil contractors will begin on the construction itself. There may be a few traffic diversions, but if your property is not partially acquired, the diversions will not affect you directly.
      3) The 400m radius indicates a notional walking distance of 5min from the stations

  9. for option 2 of E4 tanjong katong (btm of the page), why would acquisition of land be required?

    1. Partial acquisition would have been required because land on the edge of the road will be required for excavation and diversion works. What we did not expect however, was that LTA seems to prefer full acquistion over partial acquisition this time round.