RAIL operator SMRT Corp has taken delivery of the first of 45 new trains for the heavily used North-South and East-West lines (NSEWL).
The first to carry SMRT's new orange, red and black livery, the train was built in China by a joint venture between Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Qingdao Sifang.
It is also the first NSEWL train to have a new signalling system that allows service intervals to be shortened to 100 seconds from 120 seconds now.
Called model C151B, it is almost identical to the previous C151A trains, which have been in service since 2011. The newer trains are heavier than the older models by a weight equivalent to 300 passengers, or nearly one-quarter of the average train load during peak periods.
SMRT said the new train will undergo "a period of rigorous testing before it is introduced for passenger service" from the first quarter of next year.
SMRT managing director of trains Lee Ling Wee said the new trains will progressively increase the capacity of Singapore's two oldest MRT lines. This, in turn, will "contribute to a better travel experience for commuters".
SMRT is also working to add new trains to the Circle Line and the Bukit Panjang LRT. The first of these arrived last year.
"These efforts are key to our multi-year rail transformation plan to renew and upgrade ageing infrastructure and assets," said Mr Lee.
According to SMRT, all 45 new trains - said to cost $12 million to $13 million each - will arrive by 2018 to boost its NSEWL fleet to 186 trains. Another 12 are expected to be added by 2019.
SMRT is also upgrading its existing trains.
The new livery will be applied as and when the older trains are upgraded.