SINGAPORE: The three stations on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) will have shorter operating hours on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between April and July this year, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said on Monday (Mar 23).
The shorter operating hours are part of efforts to prepare for the opening of the second phase of the line, later this year.
Between Apr 3 and July 26, the first phase of the TEL - comprising the Woodlands North, Woodlands and Woodlands South stations - will close earlier at 10pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
These three stations will also open later at 6.30am on Saturdays and Sundays.
MRT trains typically run from 5.30am to about midnight.
"This will double the engineering hours available to test the systems and trains in preparation for the opening of stage two of the Thomson-East Coast Line later this year," said LTA.
Commuters may use existing public bus services, such as 901/M, 169 and 856, to travel within the Woodlands area. They may also use these bus services to transfer to the North-South Line at Woodlands station to continue their travel on the rail network.
Announcing the move during a visit on Monday to the future Bright Hill station, Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan said "thorough testing" of the systems, including running both phases as one integrated line, is needed before the second phase of the TEL can be opened.
The second phase of the TEL comprises six stations from Springleaf to Caldecott, with two interchange stations at Bright Hill and Caldecott.
It is expected to open by the end of 2020, with LTA noting in January that works were about 90 per cent complete.
"We are making good progress on (TEL phase two) and are on track to open its six new stations at the end of the year," said LTA chief executive Ngien Hoon Ping.
"To prepare for this milestone, we are lengthening limited engineering hours to ensure that rigorous systems integration and testing from Woodlands North to Caldecott can be carried out.”