|Alstom Metropolis C751A|
|In service||June 2003 – Present|
|Constructed||2000 – 2001|
|Number built||150 Vehicles (25 trainsets)|
|Formation||6 cars per trainset
|Fleet number||7001/7002 – 7049/7050|
|Line(s) served||North East Line|
|Car body||Welded aluminium|
|Doors||8 per car|
|Electrification||1500 V DC overhead catenary|
|Track gauge||Standard Gauge (1435mm)|
The Alstom Metropolis C751A is an electric multiple unit (EMU) train operating on the North East Line (NEL). Entering service in 2003, these were the North East Line’s first generation of rolling stock.
Twenty-five trainsets comprising six cars each were procured. They were manufactured from 2000 to 2001 by Alstom S.A. in Valenciennes, France. The C751A trains are also the first driverless heavy-rail trains in Singapore, as well as the first trains in Singapore to utilize communication-based train control (CBTC).
Initiated in 1997 whilst MRT construction was ongoing, Contract 751A (C751A) for the procurement of rolling stock called for of 25 trainsets of six cars each. It was awarded to Alstom S.A. of France, where they were built in Valenciennes, France.
The trains were built as part of Alstom’s Metropolis family of urban EMU trains. They draw power from a 1500 V DC overhead catenary, unique to the North East Line as other Mass Rapid Transit lines in Singapore rely on the 750 V DC third rail for electrification. Running on Alstom’s Urbalis 300 CBTC system, these trains are fully automated (ATO GoA 4) and do not require an attendant on board. In emergency situations, trains can still be manually driven from each end.
Each 6-car train is actually two 3-car trainsets coupled together, each comprising of a Driving Trailer (DT) and two Motor Cars (Mp and Mi). The second and fifth cars of each train (Mp) are equipped with a pantograph.
These trains entered revenue service on 20 June 2003 with the opening of the 19.2-kilometre fully-underground North East Line between HarbourFront and Punggol.
To reduce the width of the platform gap, one train was trialed with an additional metal strip at the doorway. A successful trial to install additional handgrips at the centre of train cars eventually led to fleet-wide implementation.
The exterior of C751A trains was a mix of black at the top and white at the bottom, with a central orange and purple stripe running the length of the train. Small viewing windows at each end allow passengers a view of the tunnel.
All C751A trains are comprised of six cars with open gangway connections between all cars. Each car has eight doors, four on each side. The interior features longitudinal seating in uniform color scheme of purple and beige. Priority seats are located in every car, near the doors. Trains were also fitted with a Visual Passenger Information System (VPIS), with ceiling-mounted LED textual displays and LCD screens above the rows of seats. The LCD screens, formerly showing rail travel information and commercials, have since been switched off. Two Wheelchair Bays are located in the middle two cars of every C751A train, at doors 9 and 16.
Emergency Exits are located at both ends of every train, with a ramp that can be deployed in an emergency. Within the cabin, Emergency Communication Buttons (integrated with Door Unlock Handles) are located at the side of the train doors, enabling passengers to speak with staff or open the train doors in an emergency. Fire extinguishers are also placed in every car.
In 2017, SBS Transit called for a tender to carry out Mid-Life Refurbishment and Upgrading for the 25 Alstom Metropolis C751A trains. These trains are the first-generation NEL trains and entered service in 2003. The 2017 SBS Transit Annual Report mentioned that works for the Contract would start in 2018 and the scope would include:
- Redesign of air-conditioning and ventilation systems
- Renewal of critical components
- Installation of condition monitoring equipment to enhance train reliability and improve service recovery capabilities.
With NEL transitioning to the New Rail Financing Framework (NRFF) on 1 April 2018, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) took over ownership of assets such as the Alstom Metropolis C751A Trains. On 17 December 2018, LTA awarded the Contract worth about $116.7 million to CRRC Nanjing Puzhen Co Ltd.
The contract scope awarded by LTA includes:
- Installing a new condition monitoring system to monitor train performance more closely and facilitate better maintenance planning
- Upgrading trains’ air-conditioning, ventilation and passenger information systems for better functionality
- Replacing interior fittings of the trains, such as seats, panels and flooring, for more pleasant and comfortable rides
- Detailed inspections on all the mechanical and electrical systems for the trains, with parts repaired or replaced where necessary
Works under the LTA awarded contract are scheduled to start in the 1st Quarter of 2019 and are expected to be completed by the 3rd Quarter of 2024. The trains will be renewed and upgraded one at a time at the Sengkang Train Depot. In what appears to be a delay, the first train was handed over to the tenderer only in August 2019.
A six-car trainset is formed of two three-car sets permanently coupled together. Each set comprises one driving trailer (DT) and two motor cars (Mi and Mp). As such, the running configuration of a C751A trainset is DT–Mp–Mi–Mi–Mp–DT.
Every car is identified by a five digit number ranging from 7x001 to 7x050, where the first digit is always 7, and the second digit x is carriage identifier. The driving trailer is 1, followed by the second car using 2 and the third car using 3. The last three digits refer to the 3-car trainset of which the train is comprised of. SBS Transit’s 25 trains are actually 50 3-car trainsets coupled together in an even-odd arrangement, i.e. Set 7001/7002, Set 7003/7004 and on to Set 7049/7050.
As such, a sample Set 7049/7050 will contain the carriage numbers 71049-72049-73049-73050-72050-72050. Depending on the direction of travel, the sequence may be reversed. All sets were built by Alstom.
Accidents & Incidents
External Links & References
- Singapore’s Northeast Line – Alstom (PDF)
- Alstom Metropolis C751A – Wikipedia
- Alstom Metropolis C751A – SGTrains
- Joint News Release by the Land Transport Authority (LTA) & SBS Transit – Enhancement Works for the North East Line to Commence in 2019 – LTA
- SBS Transit Annual Report 2017
Back to Trains