40 brand new MRT trains for older lines

By October 5, 2020Current, Local Life

TL;DR – Looking forward to better MRT journeys ahead!

On 28 September 2020, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) announced that it will purchase 40 brand new trains from Canadian train manufacturer Bombardier Transportation, for a total of S$337.8 million.

According to the LTA, these new trains will be rolled out on SMRT’s North South and East West lines (NSEWL) from 2024 onwards and will replace 19 second-generation (Siemens) trains which were introduced in 1995, and 21 third-generation (Kawasaki-Nippon Sharyo) trains introduced in 2000.

These trains will use the same design as the initial 66 trains purchased in 2018 and this will result in economies of scale, lower operating and maintenance costs, as well as having a pool of common spare parts.

Artist impression of the new SMRT NSEWL trains from Bombardier


These trains will have newer passenger-friendly features such as spaces for baby strollers, passengers in wheelchair, as well as gap fillers to facilitate safer passenger boarding and alighting as the platform gap between trains and station platforms get reduced. LCD panels will also be installed in the trains to display travel information.

The trains will be equipped with condition monitoring devices that will pick up emerging faults onboard the trains and prompt the operator to conduct preventive maintenance, hence, increasing overall reliability for the two older lines.

Artist impression of the new SMRT trains from Bombardier.


The two lines are currently served by 198 trains across 6 models. When operational, these 106 new Bombardier trains will form 53% of the NSEWL fleet and will also help engineers to develop deepe expertise as they would master fewer models of trains.

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Service support agreement

On Monday’s contract award, Bombardier also signed a long-term service support agreement with SMRT to cover the supply of spare parts to support maintenance of the new trains. This agreement is for 10 years and will commence in 2022. The contract can be extended by another 20 years.

Giving older trains a new lease of life

As we bade farewell to the older trains, which have been serving us for 30 years, Transport Minister Mr Ong Ye Kung described these trains as our “pioneer generation” trains and invited organisations to provide inputs to the LTA to give these “workhorses” new leases of life. Some ideas include themed cafes and playground attractions.

What do you think? How could we repurpose these old trains?

You may send in your ideas to the LTA!

Increasing the reliability of the MRT network

The replacement of older trains with new ones is one part of a mega plan to increase the reliability of the MRT system and this involves the replacement of six major components.

Three projects have been completed:
1. Upgrading of railway sleepers which support the tracks that trains run on
2. Replacing the third rail, which supplies electricity to the trains
3. Changing the signalling system to a newer Communications-Based Train Control system

The fourth project, which involves the upgrading of the power supply system, will be completed by 2023 and a fifth project, the replacement of track circuits, will be completed by 2024.

With a renewed MRT system, let’s look forward to better MRT journeys ahead! 🙂


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Joey Wee

Author Joey Wee

I am nice, most of the time!

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