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LTA awards S$137m rail contract to Japanese-Chinese consortium

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The Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded a contract worth about S$136.8 million to a consortium comprising Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Qingdao Sifang Co for the purchase of 12 new six-car trains for the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL).

THE Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded a contract worth about S$136.8 million to a consortium comprising Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Qingdao Sifang Co for the purchase of 12 new six-car trains for the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL).

These 12 trains are the final batch of the 57 new trains that will be put into service from 2016 to 2019. The first of these 12 trains will arrive in Singapore in early 2018, and will undergo testing at depots before they are put into service in mid-2019.

These NSEWL trains will be the first trains to feature tip-up seats that will provide additional flexibility in seat configuration, LTA said. The trains will also come with commuter-centric features such as three rows of straphangers and triplicated grab-poles for standing passengers.

Kawasaki Heavy Industries has been in the railway manufacturing industry for over a century. Besides supplying trains to the Japanese domestic market, Kawasaki's existing overseas projects include metro trains for the New York City Transit Authority and the Washington Metropolitan Area Authority. In Singapore, Kawasaki has supplied most of the trains on the NSEWL.

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CSR Qingdao Sifang has a history of cooperation with Kawasaki dating back to 1985. The two companies have worked on several joint contracts of linear motor MRT trains for Guangzhou Metro Line 4 and 5 and of high-speed trains for the Ministry of Railways of China. The consortium is currently in the process of delivering 91 trains for the Thomson-East Coast Line.

From the start of this year to 2019, 99 more trains will be added to the NSEWL, the North East Line (NEL) and the Circle Line (CCL), increasing the overall train fleet size by close to 50 per cent. This includes the 57 new trains for the NSEWL which will enter service from 2016. For the CCL, 12 new trains would have joined the existing fleet of 40 trains by the end of 2015; while four new trains would also have been added to the NEL's fleet of 25 trains. By the end of 2016, all the 42 new trains for the CCL and the NEL would be fully deployed.

"LTA will continue to monitor the demand along rail lines and work together with rail operators to augment the capacity and cater to the long-term projected demand," the statutory board added.

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