As part of the long-term asset renewal strategy to sustain high quality railway service for passengers, the MTR Corporation has confirmed that it will purchase 93 new eight-car trains to replace all of the first-generation trains now operating on the Kwun Tong, Tsuen Wan, Island and Tseung Kwan O lines.
The new trains, featuring more modern operating systems and equipment, will be delivered to Hong Kong between 2018 and 2023. Following a rigorous tendering process, in which tenders from internationally renowned suppliers were thoroughly reviewed, the contract for the new trains has been awarded to CSR Qingdao Sifang Co., Ltd. (CSR Sifang) for about HK$6 billion.
The Corporation will also be responsible for 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 thatour 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.
“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 trains will have a number of new features to enhance passengers’ traveling 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,and soft material will be introduced for the strap hangers, 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.