On Tuesday, 22 June 2020, decommissioning began for the first-generation North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) trains, the Kawasaki Heavy Industries C151.
In an event held at Bishan Train Depot attended by Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan, a C151 train was symbolically powered down, marking the official start to the withdrawal of all C151 trains from service. These trains were the first trains of Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit system, launched in 1987 on the North South Line, and have been operating ever since.
Main Article: Kawasaki Heavy Industries C151
66 C151 trains were manufactured by a Japanese consortium led by Kawasaki Heavy Industries (along with Nippon Sharyo, Tokyu Car Corp and Kinki Sharyo). These trains entered service from 1987 onwards, with an unpainted aluminium body. These trains assumed their current interior and exterior appearance after the first round of refurbishment carried out between 2004 and 2008, where trains received a new black and red external livery, and refitting of the interior with new fixtures.
In 2015, a second round of refurbishment was announced by SMRT, focusing on key engineering components on C151 trains that were not upgraded in the first round of refurbishments. Most significantly, the propulsion system was to be upgraded to an IGBT-VVVF drive, coupled with PMSM traction motors. These upgrades were planned for the 19 second-generation Siemens C651 rolling stock by 2016, followed by the 66 C151 trains by 2019.
However, leading up the transition to the New Rail Financing Framework (NRFF) in August 2016, the LTA would eventually make decisions on building-up, replacement and upgrading of assets. Coupled with changes in SMRT Corporation’s management structure, the mid-life upgrading of C651 trains was abruptly discontinued, and the planned C151 refurbishments were thus precluded. Only six C151 trains received the upgraded IGBT-VVVF drive and PMSM traction motors.
In September 2016, the LTA announced its intention to replace all 66 first-generation C151 trains with brand-new ones, favouring the procurement of new trains over continuing to refurbish old trains. The tender was subsequently awarded to Bombardier in July 2018, who would supply Bombardier MOVIA trainsets under Contract CR151.
These trains are expected to arrive in Singapore in 2021, with revenue service commencing in 2022.
Disposal & Re-purposing of Trains
In May 2019, LTA called a tender for the disposal of 66 C151 trains under Contract R151D – Disposal of Decommissioned Trains. This tender was awarded to Toyotron Pte Ltd at a price of S$828,000.00 (Payable to LTA) on 16 December 2019.
Several train cars could be preserved by several public and private organisations, such as schools for educational and training purposes. In addition, some train cars may also be converted into recreational spaces.
Interested parties can email LTA at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
LTA will progressively handover the remaining C151 trains to Toyotron Pte Ltd for dismantling, scrapping and disposal as part of Contract R151D. The gradual phase-out will be in tandem with the introduction of replacement CR151 trains.
The media event involved a C151 train bearing 045/046 decals.