“Originally, we had planned to replace 78 eight-car trains (but)... we decided that it would be better value for money to exercise the option included in the tender to replace all 93 first-generation eight-car trains in one go."
As part of its long- term asset renewal strategy, the MTR Corporation in Hong Kong has confirmed it is purchasing 93 new eight-car trains to replace all of the first-generation trains currently in operation. These new trains, featuring more modern operating systems and equipment, will be delivered between 2018 and 2023. MTR Corporation was keen to stress that “rigorous tendering process” took place from international suppliers before China’s CSR Qingdao Sifang Co., Ltd. (CSR Sifang) secured the contract for about HK$6 billion. The Corporation will also be responsible for all additional costs related to management and implementation of the replacement programme.
“This is the largest-ever order of new trains in MTR’s history and it represents a critically important investment to maintain our railway service at world class levels to ensure that our passengers in Hong Kong continue to enjoy safe, reliable and convenient train services well into the future,” said Mr Lincoln Leong, Chief Executive Officer of MTR Corporation on the announcement of the contract.
“Originally, we had planned to replace 78 eight-car trains which have been in service for about 30 years. But in view of the competitive tenders received and after weighing the benefits of having a uniform train fleet equipped with more up-to-date systems, we decided that it would be better value for money to exercise the option included in the tender to replace all 93 first-generation eight-car trains in one go,” Mr Leong added.
The new rolling stock will have a number of new features aiming enhance passengers’ travelling experience:
- An improved lighting system will make the train saloons feel more spacious.
- New dynamic route maps will provide more information for passengers.
- Double branched handrails introduced throughout the saloons will cater for the need of standing passengers.
- Soft material will be introduced for the straphangers, adopting an ergonomic and sleek design that passengers can hold comfortably.
The new trains will also arrive fully compatible with the new signalling system to be installed on the Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Island and Tseung Kwan O lines in the coming years.
Under the contract, the supply, manufacture, testing and commissioning of the 93 eight-car trains are required to be carried out in accordance with MTR specifications, and under the rigorous design and manufacturing standards of MTR Corporation. The contractor will conduct world-wide procurement for sub-systems and perform pre-delivery factory and type tests to ensure that high quality performance standards are achieved. In addition, the Corporation will have staff stationed full-time at the factory to quality-assure the manufacturing and assembly processes.
“We will be working very closely with CSR Sifang to bring our passengers a new generation of high quality trains that meet our requirements for safe and efficient operation.
Following delivery of the trains to Hong Kong, rigorous testing and commissioning will be conducted before they are certified by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department to enter service. We expect the first of the new trains to start entering service, at the earliest, towards the end of 2018,” said Dr Jacob Kam, Operations Director of MTR Corporation.
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