Cross Island Line

Cross Island Line
Cross Island Line Phase 1, 2 & Punggol Extension Stations
Type High capacity rail
Phases & Opening Dates Phase 1:
Aviation Park–Bright Hill
(12 stations, 29 km)
Punggol Extension:
Pasir Ris–Elias–Punggol
(3 stations, 7.3 km)
Phase 2:
Turf City–Jurong Lake District
(6 stations, 15 km)
Phase 3 (TBA):
Jurong Lake District–Gul Circle
(Under planning)
By 2040:
Extension to Changi Airport Terminal 5
Line length ~50 km when fully complete
Depot Changi East (Phase 1)
Tuas (TBA)
Operational Data
Operator TBC
Rolling stock Contract CR151 Trains
(6-Cars, with possible expansion to 8-Cars)
Electrification Overhead conductor rail
Track gauge 1435 mm
Opening Year 2030 (Phase 1)
Year 2032 (Punggol Extension & Phase 2)

The Cross Island Line (CRL) is a future high-capacity underground MRT line currently under construction. With the first phase of the line scheduled to open by 2030, 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. The Punggol Extension branch connects 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 (integrated with a bus depot) will occupy the site of Raffles Country Club at Tuas 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
  • 10 Mar 2020: Cross Island Line Punggol Extension with 4 stations (including Pasir Ris) officially announced, slated to open by 2031
  • 8 Mar 2021: Commencement of Cross Island Line passenger service mentioned to be in 2030 as part of a Land Transport Authority Press Release
  • 11 May 2021: Updated opening year for Cross Island Line Punggol Extension to be 2032 in a Written Reply by Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung to Parliamentary Question
  • 20 Sep 2022: Second Phase of Cross Island Line with 6 stations officially announced, stations expected to open by 2032.

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.

Phase 1

On 25 January 2019, Phase 1 of the CRL was announced, comprising 12 stations and 29 kilometres from CR2 Aviation Park to CR13TE7 Bright Hill, 4 of which were interchange stations with existing lines. It was hinted that the line would potentially be extended to Changi Airport, with a station at Terminal 5 and the station code CR1 reserved for this purpose. A branch line from CR5EW1 Pasir Ris to CP4NE17PTC Punggol was announced on 10 March 2020, comprising 3 new stations across 7.3 kilometres.

Initially, the CRL Phase 1 and Punggol Extension were expected to open by 2029 and 2031 respectively. This has been pushed back to 2030 and 2032 respectively, as contained in an LTA press release from March 2021 awarding of civil contracts for the CRL Phase 1. These delays were attributed to disruptions to material supplies and manpower due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Phase 2

Stations for the CRL Phase 2 were first released online back in December 2021 in an MRT system map that was included as part of a virtual exhibition. The western section of the CRL was shown to interchange with existing lines at King Albert Park, Clementi, Jurong Pier, then terminating at Gul Circle.

On 20 September 2022, Stage 2 was formally announced, comprising 6 stations across 15 km from Turf City to Jurong Lake District.

Phase 3

An article by The Straits Times mentioned that based on an earlier LTA tender, Phase 3 will be about 13km long, consisting of at least 4 stations between Jurong and Tuas, two of which will be interchanges (likely Jurong Pier and Gul Circle). An integrated train and bus depot in Tuas will also be built to serve the new line.

Future Plans

Concept plans for the redevelopment of Paya Lebar Air Base propose an infill station between Defu and Tampines North.

Construction Stages

  • Construction for Cross Island Line Phase 1 started in 2020.
  • Construction for Cross Island Line Punggol Extension started in 2022.
  • Construction for Cross Island Line Phase 2 will start in 2023.

Train Stations

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

Phase 1 – 2030
Punggol Extension – 2032

Pasir Ris CRL Station is built as part of CRL Phase 1.

Phase 2 – 2032

 

Phase 3

Engineering studies for Phase 3, which will serve the Jurong Industrial Estate are ongoing as of September 2022.

An article by The Straits Times mentioned that based on an earlier LTA tender, Phase 3 will be about 13km long, consisting of at least 4 stations between Jurong and Tuas, of which two will be interchanges. An integrated train and bus depot in Tuas will also be built to serve the new line.

In 2021, LTA launched the “Connecting People, Places & Possibilities” Virtual Exhibition. In a panel titled “MRT Network as the Backbone of Public Transport”, a system map was showcased with the alignment of Phase 2 & 3 of the Cross Island Line. These stations have yet to be finalised or announced by LTA as of November 2021.

6 stations were officially announced to be part of the Cross Island Line Phase 2 on 20 September 2022. The remaining stations are:

Future Extension to Changi Airport Terminal 5

In addition, the CR1 station code indicated in the above virtual exhibition interchanges with a future extension of the Thomson-East Coast Line.

  • CR1TE32

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.


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

Contract CR151 – Trains for Cross Island Line was published on 18 March 2022.

The CRL is designed and built to accommodate 8-car trains but will operate with 6-car trains initially. CR151 trains are thus expected to be capable of being extended in future.

Trains will also draw power from an overhead conductor rail system as referenced from Contract CR159. This makes the CRL the second rail line in Singapore to utilize overhead lines for electrification after the North East Line.


References & External Links