Artist’s Impression of Founders’ Memorial station (Source: LTA).

New station to be added to the Thomson-East Coast Line near Founders’ Memorial

A new station will be added to the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL) within walking distance of the upcoming Founders’ Memorial in the Marina Bay area.

In a press release, the Land Transport Authority stated that the Founders’ Memorial station, located between Tanjong Rhu and Gardens by the Bay stations along the TEL, will improve accessibility for visitors to the Bay East Garden, where the memorial will be located. The station will also serve upcoming residential and recreational developments in the area.

Source: LTA.

The authority noted that the new station will be built by converting the TEL facility building currently being constructed at Bay East Garden into an MRT station.

Station footprint of Founders’ Memorial station (Source: LTA).

It said that the contract to construct the facility building was awarded to China Railway First Group Co., Ltd in June 2016 for approximately $242.4 million.

LTA said that works will commence in 2019 and it will open in tandem with the opening of the Founders’ Memorial.

However, many netizens went to Facebook and voice their disagreement with naming of the station.

Chee Keong Tan wrote, “Founders’ Memorial station. What a mouthful when it is actually Ah Gong’s station.”

Tan Haowei wrote, “Trying to attract people to the place.”

Edwin David Goh wrote, ‘Why bother? When the final wish of the founder cant even be fulfilled! He made this part of his will public for everyone to know. But….Shame! shame!”

In a separate press release, LTA said that innovative methods have been used to construct Katong Park station and safely overcome challenges such as space constraints and soft ground conditions to help to ensure the timely construction of the Thomson-East Coast Line (TEL).

The Katong Park station site is located at the major arterial junction of Fort Road, Tanjong Rhu Road and Meyer Road, which is also surrounded by residential properties.

According to the authority, this creates space constraints which prevent the construction of launch and retrieval shafts for the deployment of Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs).

To overcome this limitation, LTA said that the launch shaft was constructed at an empty site near the Singapore Swimming Club, which is a distance away from the construction site. Tunnelling works then proceeded through Katong Park station and continued towards the next station at Tanjong Katong. Excavation of the station box could only commence after tunnelling works were completed.

However, due to space constraints, the tunnels at Katong Park station are stacked on top of each other to reduce the overall station footprint, and avoid encroaching on adjoining private land.

Similar to Promenade and Stevens stations on the Downtown Line, commuters will need to go to different levels of the station to board trains travelling in opposite directions.

Source: LTA.

The authority said that the ground at Katong Park station is primarily composed of soft marine clay, which has the consistency of peanut butter. To minimise construction risks, selected stretches of the ground were strengthened to facilitate tunnelling works. To ensure that the station’s foundation is stable, the diaphragm walls extend 65m below the ground, beyond the 28m depth of the station box.

The 43km-long TEL will have seven interchange stations linking the TEL to all five existing MRT lines. Besides enhancing connectivity between the north, central and eastern parts of Singapore, the TEL will also strengthen the resilience of our rail network by providing commuters with more alternative travel routes.

“The construction of the TEL is progressing well, and commuters look forward to enjoying the TEL in stages from 2019,” the authority noted.

It also said that once fully operational in 2024, the TEL will be Singapore’s sixth MRT line, serving approximately 500,000 daily commuters in the initial years, with the figure rising to about one million in the longer term.