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Extra cabin space, perch seats: New MRT trains to come with more features from June 4

SINGAPORE - Commuters can look forward to riding new trains with features such as more open spaces and large windows on the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) from Sunday (May 31).

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Thursday (June 1) said the first batch of 16 new six-carriage trains from Alstom SA will be put into service from June 4, at the rate of about two every month, and replace the first three generations of NSEWL trains.

The 106 new trains will be rolled out progressively over the next three years till the end of 2026, said Transport Minister S Iswaran at a preview event at Tuas Depot.

On Thursday, LTA also announced that it has bought six new trains for the North East Line, and 23 new trains for the Circle Line from Alstom.

These trains are meant to add capacity for when the North East Line extension to Punggol Coast opens in 2024, and the three-station Circle Line 6 begins operations in 2026.

Mr Iswaran said the new NSEWL trains come with features that “really enhance reliability and comfort for passengers”.

The cabins are designed with more open spaces to accommodate wheelchairs, bicycles and strollers, as well as ergonomic perch seats, which take up less space and thus accommodate more commuters on the trains.

LTA said the trains also have wider single-frame windows - spanning the width of 2.4m - that give commuters a better view of the surroundings when travelling above ground.

Decked in green and red stripes, the trains - designed in Germany and manufactured and assembled in Changchun, China - also have more informative LCD display systems located above every door that provide detailed route and station information.

Besides commuter-friendly features, the new trains have a self-test system that automatically checks if they are fit for operation at the start of each day before service begins.

LTA had purchased 66 of the 106 new trains in a $1.2 billion deal in 2018 to replace the first-generation NSEWL Kawasaki trains, which have been operating since the two MRT lines opened in 1987.

It then bought another 40 trains in 2020 for $337.8 million to replace the second-generation Siemens and third-generation Kawasaki-Nippon Sharyo trains.

Student Soh Hong Ren, 18, a member of transport enthusiast community Friends of Land Transport, said: “The new trains look redesigned from scratch and are very refreshing... the new screen display is a lot more optimised for reading.”

LTA noted that it has worked with educational institutions and non-profit organisations to upcycle various train parts from older trains that were decommissioned.

The authority said it also recently partnered ITE College West to upcycle an entire train carriage for educational purposes.

Those interested in acquiring retired trains or upcycling train parts can email LTA at [email protected] for more information. 

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