Tanah Merah MRT Station

Tanah Merah
丹那美拉 | தானா மேரா
Station Exterior
Station Exterior
Address 920 New Upper Changi Road, Singapore 467356
Lines Served   East West Line
Operator SMRT Trains
Structure Elevated
Platform Double Island
Triple Island (U/C)
Opened 4 Nov 1989

Tanah Merah MRT Station (EW4/CG) is an above-ground station along the East West Line (EWL), and serves as the transfer station with the EWL’s Changi Airport Branch line. It is built along New Upper Changi Road, between the junctions of Bedok South Avenue 3 and Bedok Road.

The station name, which means red earth in Malay, is derived from the red lateritic cliffs along the coast that was once visible from the sea (most of which were leveled for land reclamation works). The station serves the Tanah Merah area, a hilly residential area with many condominiums, private houses, and several schools.

Tanah Merah station offers a cross-platform interchange between mainline East West Line train services and Changi Airport Branch line services to Changi Airport which currently uses the middle track. When expansion works are completed in 2024, a fourth track and third platform will be added to the Northside of the station for Pasir Ris-bound services. This would free up an additional middle platform for the Changi Airport Branch line, enabling trains to operate more frequently.

Construction of a new platform and additional rail viaducts at Tanah Merah station (Contract T315) was projected to be completed in 2024, but will likely be delayed. An updated opening year has yet to be announced by the LTA. Civil contractor Lum Chang lists an updated completion year of 2025 [Link], while LTA expects to decommission a 1 km section of rail viaduct near Tanah Merah in 2026. [Link]

Based on the Land Transport Master Plan 2040, the existing Changi Airport Branch line (Tanah Merah—Expo—Changi Airport) will be converted to part of the Thomson-East Coast Line by around 2040, with the extension of the TEL from Sungei Bedok to Changi Airport Terminal 5. This would make Tanah Merah the future terminus of the Thomson-East Coast Line.

First / Last Train Timings

East West Line – (EW4 / CG) Tanah Merah
Destination First Train Last Train
Weekdays & Sat Sun & Public Holidays Daily
EW1 Pasir Ris 5:16am 5:42am 12:33am
EW33 Tuas Link 5:37am 6:03am 11:33pm
CG2 Changi Airport 5:20am 5:47am 11:50pm

Train frequencies on the Changi Airport Branch line are 7 – 9 mins during peak hours, and 12 mins during off-peak hours. Commuters are advised to take note of last train timings for the Changi Airport Branch, for the last Airport train departs before the last Eastbound train arrives at Tanah Merah.

Station Layout

L2 Platform A East West Line towards EW1 Pasir Ris
Platforms C & D East West Line towards CG2 Changi Airport
Platform B East West Line towards EW33 Tuas Link
L1 Concourse Faregates, Ticketing Service Kiosks, Passenger Service Centre, Retail Shops
Street Level Bus stops, Taxi stand, pick-up/drop-off point, Station exits
B1 Underpass Public underpass underneath New Upper Changi Road


East-West Line (L2):
MRT_rail (1)
Platform A: East West Line towards EW1 Pasir Ris via EW3 Simei (→)
Platform C: East West Line towards CG2 Changi Airport via CG1DT35 Expo (→)
MRT_rail (1)
Platform D: East West Line towards CG2 Changi Airport via CG1DT35 Expo (→)
Platform B: East West Line towards EW33 Tuas Link via EW5 Bedok (←)
MRT_rail (1)

Tanah Merah station has four elevated East-West Line platforms arranged in two island platforms, serving three tracks. While the outermost tracks are used for regular EWL services (Platforms A and B), the middle track is used for the turnaround of Changi Airport Branch Line trains and is served by Platforms C and D. Train frequencies on the Airport branch are 7 – 9 mins during peak hours, and 12 mins during off-peak hours.

The station is built with a modified barrel vault roof design used at many other stations along the Eastern side of the East West Line. The curved roof spans three platforms and is supported by two rows of pillars on each island platform.


The station has a ticket concourse located at ground level. It features faregates for automatic fare collection and provides access between paid and unpaid areas of the station.

Retail shops and toilets are located at ground level, within unpaid areas of the station concourse. Escalators, stairs and a lift connect the ticket concourse level to the basement underpass, which leads to exits on either side of New Upper Changi Road.

Station Amenities

  • Retail shops and Public toilets at Concourse level (unpaid areas)
  • ATMs and Self-service machines at Concourse level (unpaid areas)
  • Bicycle Racks at station exits


Built in-between two carriageways of New Upper Changi Road, Tanah Merah MRT station has two exits on either side of the road. Both exits offer barrier-free accessibility for the disabled.

Exit Location Nearby
A New Upper Changi Road (Westbound) APSN Katong School, Bedok View Secondary School, Bedok South Secondary School, Bedok Ria, Bedok Rise, eCO condominium, Limau Estate, Man Fatt Lam Buddhist Temple, Stratford Court
B New Upper Changi Road (Eastbound) Bedok Shopping Complex/Market Place, Anglican High School, Sepak Tekraw & Silat Centre, Tanah Merah Kechil, The Tanamera, Optima @ Tanah Merah, East Meadows, Casa Merah, Urban Vista, HDB Vista 8
Bus Services to: ITE College East, Changi Village, Changi Prison, Changi Chapel & Museums, Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Changi Ferry Terminal, Changi Jetty, Changi Airfreight Terminal


Transport Connections

Tanah Merah station connects to several bus stops in the vicinity, as well as taxi stands and passenger pick-up points.


There are two official bus stops linked to Tanah Merah station.

No. Bus stop Exit Bus Routes
B/s 1 85091 – New Upp Changi Rd (Tanah Merah Stn Exit B) B 2, 9, 9A, 12, 12e, 14, 14A, 24, 31, 35, 35M, 38, 45, 47, 48
B/s 2 85099 – New Upp Changi Rd (Tanah Merah Stn Exit A) A 2, 2B, 9, 12, 12e, 14, 24, 31, 31A, 35, 35M, 38, 45, 47, 48


Taxi stands and pick-up/drop-off points are located near station exits:

Exit Road Provisions
A New Upper Changi Road (Westbound) Taxi stand (I05), Pick-up/drop-off point
B New Upper Changi Road (Eastbound) Taxi stand (I06), Pick-up/drop-off point

MRT Bus Bridging Service

In the event of a MRT service disruption affecting Tanah Merah station, MRT Bridging Buses may be activated to ply affected stretches of the East West Line. In which case, the buses can be boarded from the following bus stops:

Towards Bus stop Exit
East West Line (EWL Bridging Bus)
EW1 Pasir Ris B/s 1: 85091 – New Upp Changi Rd (Tanah Merah Stn Exit B) B
EW33 Tuas Link B/s 2: 85099 – New Upp Changi Rd (Tanah Merah Stn Exit A) A
CG2 Changi Airport B/s 1: 85091 – New Upp Changi Rd (Tanah Merah Stn Exit B) B

In the event of a large-scale rail disruption affecting multiple stations, a special bridging bus service may be activated in addition to the usual bus bridging services.

  • Outram Park – Tanah Merah – Expo – Changi Airport

In addition, passengers can board free regular bus services at Bus Stops 1 & 2 when activated.

Passenger Usage Patterns

Serving schools and residential areas in the vicinity, Tanah Merah station encounters moderate demand from students and residents in the area. More people use the station for transfers between the mainline and Changi Airport branch.


Brief History

The station opened on 4 November 1989 in its present form, with two island platforms for East West Line services in both directions and an unused middle track. Train services on the Changi Airport Branch line began on 10 January 2001 between Tanah Merah and Expo, as a shuttle service.

When Changi Airport station was opened on 25 February 2002, through services from Boon Lay commenced after the full opening, with alternate Eastbound trains terminating at either Pasir Ris or Changi Airport. Due to substantially lower demand on the Branch line as compared to Simei, Tampines and Pasir Ris, Changi Airport Branch Line train services were reverted to a shuttle service between Tanah Merah and Changi Airport since July 2003.

Future Developments

New platform at Tanah Merah station – Tanah Merah Modification Project (2024)

A third platform and fourth track are currently being constructed at Tanah Merah station to improve waiting times on the Changi Airport branch line. Currently operating out of the middle track, a future fourth track is being constructed north of the station for Eastbound East West Line services, leaving the middle two tracks for train services to Changi Airport, hence allowing trains to arrive and depart at the station at shorter intervals.

The project was first announced by LTA on 25 August 2014, with a scheduled completion date of 2024.

In addition to the new platform, a new underpass underneath New Upper Changi Road on the East end of the station is also being constructed, leading to 2 new Exits (Exit C near Tanah Merah Kechil Avenue & Exit D near the Glades Condo).

Contract T315 – Addition and Alteration Works to Existing Tanah Merah Station and Existing Viaducts was awarded to Lum Chang Building Contractors Pte Ltd for S$325 million in October 2016. The reconfigured viaducts will connect the East West Line to the East Coast Integrated Depot.

This will be the second MRT station in Singapore to have tracks added to its original configuration, the first being Jurong East. Enhancement works commenced in 2016, and are expected to be completed in 2024.

Additional Gallery at Page 2.

Thomson-East Coast Line Extension

Announced in the Land Transport Master Plan 2040 in May 2019, the present East West Line Changi Branch Line from Changi Airport to Tanah Merah will be converted to be part of the Thomson-East Coast Line Extension by around 2040.

Main Article: Changi Branch Line to become part of Thomson-East Coast Line

Modification works would be done under Contract T3206 – Addition and Alteration to Changi Airport Line.

Major Incidents

On 15 December 2020, a 29-year-old Bangladeshi worker was killed at the construction site which was part of Contract T315 – Addition and Alteration Works to Existing Tanah Merah Station and Existing Viaducts. The man and his co-workers were extracting sheet piles when a part of a sheet pile broke and fell on him. He was pronounced dead at the scene by attending paramedics.


External Links & References

Page 2: Tanah Merah Modification Project Gallery

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *