LTA buys 17 new trains for North East Line, Circle Line extensions

LTA buys 17 new trains for North East Line, Circle Line extensions

French train manufacturer Alstom will supply 17 of Singapore’s new driverless MRT trains – six for the North East Line (NEL) and 11 for the Circle Line (CCL) – under a S$250 million contract awarded by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

SINGAPORE: French train manufacturer Alstom will supply 17 of Singapore’s new driverless MRT trains – six for the North East Line (NEL) and 11 for the Circle Line (CCL) – under a S$250 million contract awarded by the Land Transport Authority (LTA).

LTA’s Chief Executive Ngien Hoon Ping said an open tender was held from March to October 2017 and received only one bid due to the small number of trains requested.

This will boost the NEL’s fleet by 14 per cent to 49 trains, said LTA in a news release on Monday (Apr 30). For the CCL, the fleet will increase by 17 per cent to 75 trains.

LTA’s purchase will cater for additional capacity on the two lines, when their respective extensions are ready.

The 1.6km NEL extension, comprising Punggol Coast station, is scheduled to begin service in 2023.

For the extension of the Circle Line, three new stations - Keppel, Cantonment and Prince Edward – will close the Circle Line loop by 2025.

The trains will be manufactured and assembled in Alstom’s manufacturing facility in Barcelona, before they are progressively shipped to Singapore from 2020 for NEL and 2021 for the CCL trains.

After that, the trains will undergo testing and commissioning before being put into service when the extensions open, LTA said. 

LTA new trains signing
The Land Transport Authority awarded a contract worth about S$250 million to Alstom for the purchase of 17 new MRT trains. (Photo: Fann Sim)

PREDICTIVE MONITORING SYSTEMS INSTALLED

All 17 new trains will be equipped with “condition monitoring systems” to gather data from equipment on the trains, LTA said. The system enables the state of the equipment to be monitored continuously and allows the operator to carry out predictive maintenance instead of reactive or time-based maintenance for the trains. 

“It's not a standard feature (of the train model) ... but something that we have asked for as we do want to have a better sense of the health of the system. So from a requirement point of view, we have made that a new requirement for all our new trains,” said Mr Ngien. 

For example, train doors may be fitted with sensors that monitor the door motor’s current and force. 

“Imagine if the data collected is out of the norm ... we ascertain that this trend will lead to a failure, then the right maintenance will need to come into play,” said director of rolling stock and depot engineering Chia Choon Poh.

“The current collector shoes on the new CCL trains will also be equipped with sensors to enable the operator to react promptly and take necessary measures if any dislodgement is detected,” LTA added.

In addition, two of the new CCL three-car trains will each be fitted with an Automatic Track Inspection (ATI) system which enables monitoring of the running rails, track equipment and sleepers while the trains are in operation. 

The ATI system supplements existing track inspection for timely or more effective identification of rail and trackside components which require maintenance, LTA said.

Older trains may also be retrofitted with these sensors selectively depending on whether the trains can house them, Mr Ngien said.

Source: CNA/fs/hm(gs)

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