After a six-month delay partially due to the fine-tuning of the new CBTC system also used on the North South Line, the four-station Tuas West Extension was opened to the public for revenue service on 18 June 2017.
While Joo Koon initially served the Tuas area since the initial extension from Boon Lay, the East West Line has now a larger catchment area with the new Tuas West Extension.
Pioneer is the station where the dual-fitted signalling trains change over from the legacy fixed block system to the new CBTC system.
There will be a slight delay of departure of about 3 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on your luck, in both directions as the system switches over.
While direction signs at platforms point towards Tuas Link, train services alternate their terminals between Joo Koon and Tuas Link.
Even though Tuas Link is the new end of the line, the terminal number somehow sticks with Joo Koon while Tuas Link has the terminal number blank.
EW29 Joo Koon
With the new cripple siding on the western end of the station, alternate services terminate their services at Joo Koon and head to the cripple siding to turnaround. The purpose is to probably cater to the lesser number of passengers on the Tuas West Extension during off peak hours while maintaining the service frequency on the whole line, and also give the passengers at Joo Koon, Pioneer and Boon Lay a chance to board an empty train should the trains get filled to the brim from Tuas Link.
EW30 Gul Circle
Entering Gul Circle.
There is a set of scissors crossovers on the westbound-end of the station in preparation for the future Tuas South Extension.
Platform C on the lower platform level is for eastbound services.
Platform A would most likely be the terminating platform for the Tuas South Extension.
Looking at the eastbound end of the platform with the line to Joo Koon on the left and the line towards the future Tuas South Extension turnback sidings on the right.
A westbound train approaching Gul Circle.
Platform D on the upper platform level is for westbound services.
Platform B would most likely be the originating platform for the Tuas South Extension.
For some reason, Gul Circle seemed to be a popular Instagram modelling spot on the opening day.
A set of buffer stops are in place at the scissors crossovers for safety, since the tracks and points are already in place, eliminating the need to close the line to install them once the need arises.
The tracks on the future Tuas South Extension are yet to be electrified, hence even without the buffer stops, they also cannot be used for stabling trains at the moment.
Heading towards Tuas Crescent with the new Tuas Viaduct curving in under the tracks too.
Looking back at the stacked Gul Circle.
Heading towards Tuas Crescent.
EW31 Tuas Crescent
Tuas Crescent is home to the longest escalators on the Tuas West Extension and the second-longest in Singapore MRT stations with a vertical rise of 17.5m. This is due to the Tuas Viaduct, the first integrated road-rail viaduct in Singapore. Unfortunately, I didn’t go down to take a ride on it.
EW32 Tuas West Road
Tuas West Road is home to the second-longest set of escalators on the Tuas West Extension, with a vertical rise of 15.9m.
Some signalling error on the line though, with the screens showing Tuas West Road as the terminus.
This is followed by Do Not Board texts when the train doors open for boarding.
Heading towards Tuas Link.
The Tuas Second Link bridge as seen from the train.
EW33 Tuas Link
Tuas Link is the new terminus of the East West Line, and geographically closest to the Tuas Second Link. However, its namesake is probably due to the names of the roads around it, similar to Gul Circle, Tuas Crescent and Tuas West Road, rather than after the Tuas Second Link, as the Tuas Checkpoint is not a walk-in checkpoint and the station does not claim to have any access to it – it’s also still some distance away.
The scirssors crossover at the eastbound end of the station.
The Tuas West Road error seems to be spreading here too.
Tuas Link is the first elevated station to have the concourse level above the platforms.
The turnouts to the new integrated Tuas Depot.
The facade of the bus section of the Tuas Depot with the train section further behind.
The turnouts and escape route are also located within the station structure. Not sure if that’s the safest thing to do.
Tuas Link MRT Station with the Tuas Checkpoint.
At the station concourse, there’s also some sort of an unintentional viewing gallery towards Malaysia.
If you are intending to walk into Tuas Checkpoint, do note that Tuas Checkpoint has no walk-in facilities and you must board a vehicle to enter Tuas Checkpoint. The nearest places to board a cross-border bus service would be either Boon Lay or Jurong East.
Down at the bus stop of Tuas Link MRT Station, there is also enhanced connectivity in the Tuas South region with the connecting bus services.
The full STARiS display finally lit up from Pasir Ris to Tuas Link.