Cross Island Line

Cross Island Line
CRL Phase 1
CRL Phase 1
Type High capacity rail
Station Count Phase 1: 12
Total: 30 (TBC)
Line length Phase 1: 29 km
Total: 50 km (Under planning)
Termini Aviation Park (Phase 1)
Bright Hill (Phase 1)
Future: (TBC)
Gul Circle
Punggol
Depot Changi East (Phase 1)
Tuas West (TBC)
Operational Data
Operators TBC
Rolling stock (6-Car Trains, with possible expansion to 8-Cars)
Electrification TBC
Track gauge 1435 mm
Opened Year 2029 (Phase 1)
Year 2031 (Punggol Extension)

The Cross Island Line (CRL) is a future high-capacity underground MRT line currently under planning. With the first phase of the line scheduled to open by 2029, it will be the eighth MRT line in Singapore, employing a fully automated and driverless mode of operation.

The line will run from Aviation Park in Changi to Jurong, passing through residential estates such as Loyang, Pasir Ris, Tampines North, Hougang, Serangoon North, Ang Mo Kio, Sin Ming, Bukit Timah, Clementi and West Coast and terminating in the Tuas Industrial Estate. A branch line will connect Pasir Ris and Punggol.

First announced in January 2013, the line will connect with all radial lines, with 13 interchange stations along its 30-odd station alignment significantly enhancing the connectivity of the rail network. In addition, it will provide an important rail link between the Central, North-East and West areas.

The Western Depot will occupy the site of Raffles Country Club while the Eastern Depot will be at Changi East (Changi East Depot). The line is designed for 8-car trains, making them the longest MRT trains in Singapore, but will operate with six-car trains initially.


Timeline & History

  • 17 Jan 2013: Cross Island Line announced as part of the Land Transport Master Plan 2013
  • Aug 2014 – End 2016: Environmental Impact Assessment
  • 25 Jan 2019: First Phase of Cross Island Line with 12 stations officially announced, slated to open by 2029
  • 25 May 2019: Cross Island Line to connect to Punggol by 2031, as announced in LTMP 2040.
  • 4 Dec 2019: Direct Alignment option under Central Catchment Nature Reserve for Cross Island Line chosen by Ministry of Transport

First announced in the Land Transport Master Plan 2013, the 50-kilometre Cross Island Line traverses the island from East to West, relieving congestion on the existing East West Line and Downtown Line and opens up new transport corridors for central Singapore regions. The line will serve Changi, Loyang, Pasir Ris, Hougang, Ang Mo Kio, Sin Ming, Bukit Timah, Clementi, West Coast and the Jurong Industrial Estate, with a branch line extending from Pasir Ris into Punggol.

In January 2019, Stage 1 of the CRL was announced, comprising 12 stations from CR2 Aviation Park to CR13TE7 Bright Hill with 4 of them being interchange stations with existing lines. The station code is CR1 reserved for a potential future extension to Changi Airport.

While the Eastern end was announced to be at Aviation Park in January 2019, the line may be extended to “potentially Changi Airport” (with Station Code CR1), as quoted from Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan.

Engineering Studies for Phases 2 & 3 of the Cross Island Line are still being conducted as at January 2019.

Local & Express Train Services

In February 2014, LTA called for a tender for Engineering Feasibility Study (Contract C1002 – Engineering Feasibility Study for the Proposed Cross Island Line) which was awarded to Arup Singapore Pte. Ltd. for S$7,988,000.00. As part of the engineering feasibility study, the possibility of operating Local and Express services on the same line was considered.

For the Cross Island Line, an option for express train service between Jurong East and Changi Airport was assessed. However, in a written reply to a parliamentary question by Mr Ong Teng Koon on 19 Nov 2018, questioning if there were plans to implement express trains in new MRT lines, Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan mentioned that “less than 5% of CRL users will see significant time savings of at least 15 minutes”. With the higher costs and land involved in boring additional two tunnels for the express service, the option will not be exercised by LTA.

Central Catchment Nature Reserve Alignment

See Also: Cross Island Line – FAQ

The alignment of the Cross Island Line through the Central Catchment Nature Reserve (CCNR) was the subject of much public debate, with nature groups and members of the public voicing their concerns about such an arrangement. A direct alignment would see the line tunnelling underneath the Nature Reserve, while a skirting alignment would see the line diverted around the reserve via Lornie and Upper Thomson.

The key facts about the two alignment options are as follows:

i) Direct alignment option

  • 4km tunnel in total, with 2km deep under the CCNR and the remainder outside the CCNR
  • No physical structures on the surface level within the CCNR
  • Travelling time: approximately 5 minutes (from Bright Hill to the next station)

ii) Skirting alignment option

  • Tunnels skirting around (and away from) the CCNR
  • A 9km tunnel route length under roads as well as residential and commercial buildings
  • Travelling time: approximately 11 minutes (from Bright Hill to the same next station)

An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was carried out from August 2014 to December 2015 to study both possible alignments, the EIA (Phase 1) report gazetted by LTA in February 2016.

The report concludes that the proposed site investigation works, with the implementation of mitigating measures and controlled access, could be carried out with moderate impact on the few parts of the nature reserve where these works are to take place. Thereafter, Soil Investigation works began in March 2017.

In September 2019, the EIA (Phase 2) report was gazetted by LTA. This report addresses the potential environmental impact of the construction and operational phases of the CRL. The EIA report makes recommendations on the mitigation measures and environmental management and monitoring plans that should be put in place for two possible underground alignment options.

In the EIA (Phase 2) report, several strategies were mentioned for the direct and skirting alignment.

i) Direct alignment option

  • Underground single bored tunnel configuration of 12.5m external diameter housing two tracks
  • Tunnel depth of 23 to 90m below ground level (bgl) (average 70m bgl)
  • 2 Worksites:
    Worksite south of SICC’s Island golf course i.e. A1-W1 (LS/VS), where a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) will be launched for the tunnel alignment underlying the CCNR.
    The TBM will be retrieved at a second worksite, A1-W2 (LS/VS) along the PIE west of the CCNR to construct the next tunnel package.
    Following completion of tunnelling works, ventilation shafts and facility buildings will be constructed at the worksites.
  • Estimated that all works will be completed within 5.5 years

ii) Skirting alignment option

  • Underground twin tunnels configuration of 6.85m external diameter housing one track each
  • Tunnel depth of 23 to 68m below ground level (bgl) (average 45m bgl)
  • 3 Worksites:
    Launch shaft worksites along Upper Thomson Road, Lornie Road and the PIE.
    The TBM will be launched from the A2-W1 (LS/VS), A2-W2 (LS/VS) and A2-W3 (LS/VS) worksites to construct the twin tunnels for the Skirting Alignment Option
    Following completion of tunnelling works, ventilation shafts and facility buildings will be constructed at the worksites.
  • Estimated that all works will be completed within 5.5 years

On 4 December 2019, the Ministry of Transport announced that the Cross Island Line will run 70 metres under the CCNR, as part of the Direct Alignment option.

Cross Island Line Extension to Punggol

In a written reply by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan to Mr Gan Thiam Poh regarding a Parliamentary Question on whether an extension can be made on the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) to connect to Pasir Ris and Punggol, there is no plan to extend the TEL to Pasir Ris and Punggol. However, LTA is studying the feasibility of extending the proposed Cross Island Line (CRL) to serve these areas. Engineering studies for the Pasir Ris – Punggol stretch of the CRL are ongoing as at February 2019.

The Land Transport Master Plan 2040 confirms that LTA plans to connect the Cross Island Line to Punggol by 2031.

Construction Stages

Construction for the first phase of the Cross Island Line starts in 2020.


Train Stations

All Station Names, other than the Interchange stations, are working names. 

Phase 1 – 2029

Fares

The Cross Island Line will charge distance-based fares as set by the Public Transport Council. All train and bus journeys in Singapore can be paid for with contactless stored value smartcards. Passengers can also purchase single journey tickets with cash, sold at General Ticketing Machines located in every station.

Adults, Children, Students, Senior Citizens, National Servicemen, Persons with Disabilities and Workfare Income Supplement recipients can use their respective concession cards to enjoy fare discounts.

Rolling Stock

Trains on the Cross Island Line will comprise of 6-cars each, with a possible expansion to 8-cars.


References & External Links