SINGAPORE’s Land Transport Authority (LTA) has awarded a consortium of CRRC Qingdao Sifang and Singapore CRRC Sifang Railway Vehicles Service a contract to supply 44 six-car trains for the Cross Island Line (CRL).

The contract, valued at $S 589m ($US 439m), includes an option for up to 11 additional trains as well as an option for long-term maintenance. The new fleet of fully automated CRL trains will be wholly designed and manufactured by CRRC Sifang in Qingdao, China. The trains are expected to be delivered progressively from 2027, in time for start of CRL Phase 1 operation in 2030.

The CRL is Singapore’s eighth MRT line, and will serve existing and future developments in the eastern, northeastern and western corridors, linking major hubs such as Jurong Lake District, Punggol Digital District and the Changi region. Nearly half of the CRL stations will provide interchange with other lines, making it easier for passengers to travel across the network.

Similar to the new fleet supplied for the Thomson-East Coast Line, each car on the new train will have five doors on each side, as well as 1.6m-wide gangways between the cars compared with 1.4m on other lines to improve accessibility.

The new trains will be powered by a 1.5kV dc overhead conductor rail system, which will increase energy efficiency compared to the 750V dc third rail system used to date in Singapore.

To enhance operation and maintenance, the trains will feature condition monitoring and diagnostic systems. Some trains will also be equipped with an automated track inspection system to monitor the condition of the track and conductor rail in real time.

CRRC Sifang has previously supplied trains for Singapore’s North-South, East-West and Thomson-East Coast lines, as part of a consortium formed with Kawasaki Railcar Manufacturing.

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