New train for Circle Line MRT arrives in Singapore; first of 23 to be shipped here

The Land Transport Authority took shipment of the three-car Metropolis C851E train on March 11 at Pasir Panjang Terminal. PHOTO: LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY/FACEBOOK
The Land Transport Authority took shipment of the three-car Metropolis C851E train on March 11 at Pasir Panjang Terminal. PHOTO: LAND TRANSPORT AUTHORITY/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A new train that will add capacity to the Circle Line (CCL) when a 4km extension opens in 2026 has arrived in Singapore.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) took shipment of the three-car Metropolis C851E train on Friday (March 11) at Pasir Panjang Terminal.

It had cleared multiple tests at French train manufacturer Alstom's facility in Barcelona.

It is the first of 23 trains that were purchased for the CCL in 2018 and 2019 to cater to an expected increase in ridership when Keppel, Cantonment and Prince Edward Road stations open in four years' time.

Decked in bright orange livery, the new train will now undergo testing and commissioning works ahead of the opening of the CCL extension, LTA said in a Facebook post.

The train will be delivered to the upcoming Integrated Train Testing Centre in Tuas for testing when the first phase of the centre is completed later this year.

Of the remaining 22 new Alstom trains bought by LTA, 10 will be shipped to Singapore over the next few years, while the other 12 will be shipped here progressively from 2024.

Manufactured and assembled in Barcelona, the new trains will increase the total CCL fleet size by 36 per cent to 87, up from 64 trains now.

They will be housed at the massive Kim Chuan Depot, located underground in Paya Lebar, which is currently being expanded to hold 133 trains, up from 70 today.

The new trains will be equipped with condition monitoring systems that will allow rail operator SMRT to carry out predictive maintenance.

The trains will also have sensors that can detect whether they have been dislodged from the tracks.

In addition, two of the new trains will be fitted with an automatic track inspection system that will monitor the condition of the running rails, track equipment and sleepers while the trains are in operation.

In 2018, LTA also bought six six-car Metropolis C851E trains for the SBS Transit-operated North East Line. A number of these trains are already at Sengkang Depot and they will be put into service in 2024 when a 1.6km extension of that MRT line opens.

When completed, the CCL extension will connect the western and eastern ends of the orbital line, making it a complete loop.

Tunnelling works for the extension were completed earlier this year. It marked the completion of 55 per cent of civil works which had started in 2019.

When it opens, the extension from HarbourFront to Marina Bay will cut travelling time and give commuters more alternatives that bypass the busy City Hall and Raffles Place interchanges.

For instance, commuters from Telok Blangah will have a direct commute to Marina Bay, saving them around 10 minutes.

With the extension, the CCL will have 33 stations spanning 40km, including 12 interchanges with other MRT lines.

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