Alstom to supply 17 new MRT trains

French firm Alstom has won a contract to supply 17 new MRT trains, to increase capacity on the North East Line (NEL) and Circle Line.

All the new trains will have condition monitoring sensors, which track the health of on-board equipment, thus allowing operators to carry out predictive maintenance to boost reliability.

The additional capacity will support the upcoming North East Line Extension (NELe) and the sixth stage of the Circle Line (CCL6).

The deal, worth about $250 million, was signed by Alstom and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) yesterday during a ceremony held at the Sengkang Depot.

The tender for the 17 trains, called in March last year, attracted one bid from Alstom, the manufacturer for existing NEL and Circle Line trains.

Six of the new trains will be deployed to the NEL, increasing the fleet size from 43 to 49. The other 11 will go to the Circle Line, which will have 75 trains, up from 64.

Circle Line trains each have three cars, while the NEL trains have six cars each. The trains are manufactured in Alstom's manufacturing facility in Barcelona.

The LTA said the new NEL trains will be progressively shipped to Singapore from 2020 and the Circle Line ones, from 2021.

Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who witnessed yesterday's signing, said in a Facebook post that having the condition monitoring sensors "allows us to predict problems and fix faults before they occur, increasing the overall reliability of our network".

The sensors, for example, will be used to monitor the performance of the train doors, by tracking the electric motor's current and door closing force.

"That will give us enough data collected to predict a failure before it occurs," said LTA chief executive Ngien Hoon Ping.

The 11 Circle Line trains will also have sensors on the current collector shoes - which are in contact with the third rail supplying power to the train - to detect any dislodgement of the devices.

Two of the new Circle Line trains will each be fitted with an Automatic Track Inspection (ATI) System, which enables monitoring of the running rails, track equipment and sleepers while the trains are in operation, the LTA said. "The ATI System supplements existing track inspection activities for timely and more effective identification of rail and trackside components which require maintenance," it added.

Mr Ngien said the LTA is exploring several options for the first generation of NEL trains, which entered service in 2003.

"We can add in sensors or do some kind of refurbishment to strengthen them," he added.

The 1.6km NELe, which opens in 2023, will add a 17th station - Punggol Coast - to the 16-station line. The 4.3km three-station CCL6 will close the loop by linking HarbourFront and Marina Bay stations.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2018, with the headline 'Alstom to supply 17 new MRT trains'. Print Edition | Subscribe