MTR has announced an asset renewal and fleet update plan for the 3.8km Disneyland Resort Line in Hong Kong.

The project will include the purchase of three four-car driverless battery-electric trains from CRRC Qingdao Sifang, which have the capability to operate solely in battery mode. MTR says this will offer greater flexibility of services in the future. It will also work with the Hong Kong Disneyland resort to incorporate Disney-themed elements into the design of the new trains to “create a magical journey for passengers.”

The line’s CBTC signalling will also be upgraded by Traffic Control Technology, China. Trains currently operate at Grade of Automation 4 (GoA 4) without any staff onboard using a Seltrac CBTC system supplied by Thales for the opening of the Resort Line in August 2005.

MTR wants to complete the work by 2028 and the project is included in its $HK 65bn ($US 8.3bn) asset renewal and maintenance programme that commenced in 2023 and will run until 2027.

The 1432mm-gauge Disneyland Resort Line operates as a shuttle between Sunny Bay on the Tung Chung Line and the Disneyland resort. It is currently operated with three four-car trains, which were originally built by Alstom as M-Trains for MTR’s Hong Kong metro network in 1994-1998, and were subsequently modified for use on the line. Like the new trains, they are Disney-themed, with statues of characters such as Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck on display inside the trains, while many of the windows are in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s head.

“We look forward to applying new technologies including artificial intelligence in this comprehensive asset renewal project of the Disneyland Resort Line to create more favourable conditions for future railway facilities, operations and maintenance, and passenger experience,” says Dr Tony Lee, operations and innovation director of MTR Corporation.

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