According to the Land Transport Authority (LTA), the new Tuas West Extension road viaduct is slated to open on 18 February at 6.00 am while the new Tuas West Extension (TWE) from Joo Koon on the East West Line (EWL) will open by 2nd quarter 2017.
The Tuas West Extension comprises of four new stations west of Joo Koon: Gul Circle, Tuas Crescent, Tuas West Road and Tuas Link. This is to serve the Tuas industrial area which prior to that did not have any MRT connection. In line with the signalling upgrade on the NSEWL, the TWE will henceforth use the new Thales Seltrac communications-based train control (CBTC) upon opening. The extension will also include the new Tuas Depot after Tuas Link station. Meanwhile, SMRT has acquired new C151B trainsets from the Kawasaki-CRRC Sifang consortium for the extension.
The road viaduct will be a dual 3-lane viaduct spanning a length of 4.8 km and will parallel Pioneer Road to join Tuas South Avenue 3, relieving congestion on Pioneer Road in the process.
What would lay ahead for us:
1. Better transport connection in Tuas. As of now, Tuas is not well served by public transport, with the only means of public transport being public bus routes such as 193 and 254. The opening of the MRT line is expected to save travelling time by up to 35 minutes while the road viaduct is expected to relieve congestion along Pioneer Road.
2. New MRT rolling stock debuts. With the resignalling project on the NSL to be completed by March 2017, which is in line with the 2nd quarter opening, the opening would well be accompanied with the debut of the new Kawasaki-CRRC Sifang C151B along the TWE and the NSL. However, these new trains may only be used as shuttle services along the extension on the EWL due to the C151Bs not being adequately equipped for the current Westinghouse automatic train control (ATC) system. This would likely be the case until the activation of the new CBTC on the EWL on 2018.