In light of the growing passenger demand in the Northwest New Territories, the MTR Corporation has recently awarded a tender for the purchase of 40 Light Rail Vehicles (LRV). Other than replacing 30 of the existing Phase 2 LRVs which have been in service since 1992, the LR fleet size will be further expanded with an extra 10 LRVs. The first batch of new LRVs is expected to be ready for passenger service in 2019.
Subsequent to the Corporation’s announcement in May 2015 that it plans to procure 10 additional Light Rail vehicles and 10 buses with the final details to be determined based on the result of the Government’s Public Transport Strategy Study (PTSS) on enhancing Light Rail carrying capacity, a rigorous tendering process subject to the World Trade Organisation’s Agreement on Government Procurement was conducted. Eventually, the contract for the new LRVs has been awarded to CRRC Nanjing Puzhen Co., Ltd for about $745 million.
Although the PTSS will only be completed in mid-2017, the Corporation has taken the initiative to confirm the procurement order of the 10 additional LRVs in advance to facilitate delivery of the new LRVs, when called for, as soon as possible on the completion of the PTSS. This is to cater for continued development of the Light Rail network.
With phased delivery of the new LRVs, the operational fleet size of the Light Rail network will be progressively increased to 150 in 2023. Along with an expansion in overall carrying capacity, the introduction of the new LRVs will also bring a number of enhancements to passengers’ journeys, including:
- An improved LED lighting system which will enhance the ambiance of the train saloons;
- More passenger seats than Phase 2 LRVs;
- Improved handrail and strap hanger arrangements.
In order to ensure that the new LRVs comply with the Corporation’s stringent requirements, MTR will follow its well-established regime in monitoring the manufacture and conducting quality control. The new LRVs will also go through a series of tests both at the manufacturer’s factory and after delivery to Hong Kong. Furthermore, new LRVs are required to pass all the required safety and performance tests and obtain approval from the relevant Government departments before they can enter into passenger service.
“MTR always strives for continuous improvements to provide passengers with more comfortable and reliable services. In view of the growing demand for public transport in the Northwest New Territories, we have decided to purchase more new vehicles to enhance the travelling experience of our passengers as well as to meet the needs of the community for additional transport services,” said Mr Adi Lau, Operations Director of MTR Corporation.
“MTR will continue to work closely with Government to coordinate in the context of the PTSS so as to effectively enhance the carrying capacity of the Light Rail system through procuring additional LRVs as well as other necessary enabling works in order to cater for the morning peak demand," added Mr Lau.
About MTR Corporation
MTR Corporation is regarded as one of the world’s leading railway operators for safety, reliability, customer service and cost efficiency. In its home base of Hong Kong, the Corporation operates nine commuter railway lines, a Light Rail network and a high-speed Airport Express link on which more than 5.5 million passenger trips are made on a normal week day. Another 5 million passenger trips are made on the rail services it operates outside Hong Kong in the Mainland of China, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Australia. In addition, the Corporation is involved in a range of railway construction projects as well as railway consultancy and contracting services around the world. Leveraging on its railway expertise, the Corporation is involved in the development of transit-related residential and commercial property projects, property management, shopping malls leasing and management, advertising media and telecommunication services.