New fleet of 40 trains for Singapore North-South, East-West lines from 2024

30-Sep-2020 Intellasia | Malay Mail | 6:02 AM Print This Post

Forty new trains will enter service on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) from 2024 to replace ageing second and third-generation trains that are serving Singapore’s oldest MRT lines.

The S$337.8 million acquisition of the newest batch of Bombardier Transportation trains, announced by the Land Transport Authority on Monday (September 28), is the latest in a series of efforts to improve the reliability of the two lines.

The new trains will have more open spaces for strollers and wheelchairs, fillers that reduce the gaps between the platform and the trains and new LCD screens that display travel information.

They will also be equipped with various monitoring capabilities that will help detect emerging faults, allowing operators to address potential faults before they affect commuter service, LTA said.

The announcement comes two years after Bombardier won a S$1.2 billion contract to replace the inaugural batch of 66 trains that began service when the two lines first opened in 1987.

“By combining the purchase of the replacement trains, we achieve economies of scale which lowers the purchase and operating costs of the trains,” Transport minister Ong Ye Kung said at the signing ceremony for the contract at rail operator SMRT’s Bishan Depot.

“Once the replacement exercise is completed, we will have fewer train types, which helps our engineers to develop deeper expertise in each train type.”

The 106 new Bombardier trains, which will share the same design, replace the 66 first-generation Kawasaki trains, 19 second-generation Siemens trains and 21 third-generation Kawasaki-Nippon Sharyo trains, LTA said.

They will enter service from 2022 to 2026, and will make up 53 per cent of the trains on the NSEWL when fully introduced.

After assembly in China, the trains will be sent to the new train testing centre being set up in Tuas to ensure the new trains are acclimatised to the local environment before they enter service.

The replacement of trains is part of a comprehensive renewal of the NSEWL, which began in 2012 and has now passed the halfway mark. Former Transport minister Khaw Boon Wan said in January that the renewal will cost more than S$2.5 billion in total.

Bombardier and SMRT Trains on Monday also signed an agreement for the Canadian firm to provide technical support and spare parts for train repairs and system upgrades or replacements for 10 years, with the option for future contract extensions.

LTA is in talks with various organisations to commemorate the contributions of the pioneering three generation of trains, which will be progressively withdrawn from service.

“A few schools, institutes of higher learning and government agencies have also expressed interest to re-employ the trains for education and training purposes,” Ong said.

“I welcome more ideas from companies and organisations and also government agencies on creative yet meaningful ways to use the pioneering trains. This could be for education, for heritage, for leisure, or even as an MRT-themed hotel or cafe.”


Category: Singapore

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