LTA buys 91 trains for Thomson, Eastern Region lines for $749 million

A new MRT carriage being transported along Upper Thomson Road on May 3, 2014. The Land Transport Authority has spent $749 million to buy 91 four-car trains for the upcoming Thomson and Eastern Region Lines. -- ST PHOTO: ARTI MULCHAND
A new MRT carriage being transported along Upper Thomson Road on May 3, 2014. The Land Transport Authority has spent $749 million to buy 91 four-car trains for the upcoming Thomson and Eastern Region Lines. -- ST PHOTO: ARTI MULCHAND

SINGAPORE - The Land Transport Authority has spent $749 million to buy 91 four-car trains for the upcoming Thomson and Eastern Region Lines.

It awarded a contract to a consortium by Japanese firm Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Chinese company CSR Qingdao Sifang Co.

These fully automated and driverless trains will be the first in Singapore with five doors on each side of each car to allow smoother passenger boarding and alighting.

Observers say having five doors instead of four - similar to Hong Kong's MTR - could alleviate the issue of passengers not moving to the centre of the train carriage.

In a statement, the LTA said Kawasaki Heavy Industries is responsible for the overall train design, while CSR Qingdao Sifang will produce the train body shell and the final assembly.

Currently, the consortium is in the midst of delivering 13 trains this year for the North South and East West lines, with another 28 trains to come in 2016.

The trains will draw power from a 750V d.c. (volts direct current) third rail power supply system on the Thomson Line and Eastern Region Lines, which will run as one continuous line when both are completed.

The 30km, 22-station Thomson Line will run from Woodlands in the north to Gardens by the Bay, where it will join the Eastern Region Line.

The Thomson Line will be completed in three stages from 2019 to 2021, while the LTA said it will announce the detailed alignment of the Eastern Region Line when ready.