New trains for N-S, E-W lines to feature tip-up seats

Two trains that will soon join the North-South and East-West MRT fleet will be able to accommodate more commuters during rush hour.

They will have rows of tip-up seats, which the operator will tip up or down depending on passenger load. Once in place, they are locked, and only the operator can access the unlocking mechanism.

If all these seats - 12 a car - are tipped up, each six-car train will have standing room for 100 more passengers, increasing its peak capacity by around 6 per cent to 1,700.

The trains are also fitted with automatic alerts that will be activated once any of their power collector shoes - which draw electricity from the rail - is dislodged.

Another feature of the new trains is their red-and-green livery, representing the colours of the two lines, and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) logo.

This signifies the ownership of MRT trains under the New Rail Financing Framework, under which the Government owns all rail assets.

Previously, the operator owned the train fleet.

The LTA showed the media one of the new trains at the Tuas Depot yesterday.

Twelve Kawasaki-Sifang trains - all slated for the North-South and East-West lines - will have these new features.

Two of the trains have arrived and will be in service in the second half of the year.

The rest are slated for next year - along with the remaining batch of 57 new trains delivered from last year.

By then, the two lines will have 198 trains, up from 181.

The LTA said trains for the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line will also have the new features, but there are no immediate plans to retrofit all trains.

Meanwhile, the authority said 66 first-generation trains - which have been in service for 30 years - will be retired in the next few years.

A contract for their replacement will be awarded in the second quarter of this year, and the new trains - which will have the new features shown yesterday - are slated to arrive from 2022.

In addition to the 57 new North-South and East-West line trains, 24 Circle Line and 18 North-East Line trains have been put into service since 2015, bringing the number of new trains for these lines to 99, an investment of about $1.1 billion.