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LTA buys 40 more trains from Bombardier Transportation for around S$337.8m

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The new trains will arrive in batches, starting from 2024.

SINGAPORE'S Land Transport Authority (LTA) has purchased another 40 trains from Bombardier Transportation for around S$337.8 million as part of the long-term fleet renewal programme for the North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL).

The new trains will arrive in batches, starting from 2024, to replace the second-generation (Siemens) and third-generation (Kawasaki-Nippon Sharyo) trains currently in service, LTA said in a press statement on Monday.

This brings the total number of NSEWL trains supplied by Bombardier to 106. The company was awarded a contract in July 2018 to supply LTA with 66 trains to replace the first-generation (Kawasaki) trains that have served the NSEWL since it opened in 1987. The latest batch of 40 trains uses the same design.

The purchase is expected to help LTA and rail operator SMRT reap significant economies of scale, the authority said. For example, NSEWL rail engineers will be able to focus on being experts in one train type instead of the three currently.

The new trains will be assembled at Bombardier's facility in Changchun, China, with parts and features sourced from around the world, including Sweden, the UK, France and Germany.

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They will be equipped with an integrated suite of condition-monitoring features that facilitate the timely detection of emerging faults. This will let SMRT make more efficient use of maintenance resources to pre-emptively address potential faults before they affect commuter service.

Such initiatives are central to efforts by LTA and rail operators to continue delivering reliable train services while managing costs, the statement said.

When the new trains start service from 2024, commuters can expect features such as more open spaces for strollers and wheelchair users, train-borne gap fillers for safer boarding and alighting, and refreshed LCD screens displaying train travel information, it added.

In tandem with the purchase, NSEWL operator SMRT Trains will sign a long-term service support contract with Bombardier to cover all 106 new trains. Bombardier will provide technical support and spare parts for train repairs and system upgrades or replacements for the first 10 years, with the option for future contract extensions.

Last month, the Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore cleared the proposed acquisition of Bombardier Transportation (Investment) UK by French transport infrastructure company Alstom. Alstom had in February confirmed talks were underway to buy Bombardier's train business in a deal that could be worth some US$7 billion.

Within Singapore, both companies supply railway vehicles and signalling systems for train lines.

With the arrival of the new trains, the NSEWL's older trains will be progressively withdrawn from service, LTA said. It added that it is in discussions with public and private-sector organisations to repurpose some trains for education, heritage, training and recreational purposes.

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