Hong Kong MTR Kwun Tong Line CRRC Qingdao Sifang train

CHINA: The first of 93 eight-car metro trains being built by CRRC Qingdao Sifang for Hong Kong MTR’s network has entered service on the Kwun Tong Line.

Described at the time as the largest single investment in rolling stock by MTR Corp, the Q trains were ordered in 2015 at a cost of HK$6bn. Under the ‘Urban Lines Vision’ project, they are intended to replace the first generation of rolling stock supplied by Metro-Cammell in 1979; these M trains are now reaching the end of their service life after several refurbishments.

The prototype Q train was rolled out in December 2017, at which time the trains were expected to enter service during 2018, with deliveries to be completed by the end of 2023.

The first train finally entered revenue service on November 27, departing from Choi Hung at 08.58. MTR Corp told local media that it expected to have 13 sets operating on the Kwun Tong Line by the end of the year. The new trains will then be rolled out on the Island, Tsuen Wan and Tseung Kwan O lines.

Design changes from the first-generation rolling stock include larger vestibule areas, with the draught screens moved away from the doors to enable faster boarding and alighting. The Q trains have split-style grab poles and handrails with straphangers to accommodate more standing passengers. The stainless steel bench seats that were a feature of the M trains are replaced by a more ergonomic design with an improved backrest.

The new trains are fitted with enhanced passenger information systems including dynamic route maps, and use LED lighting to reduce energy consumption. They also have a real-time remote monitoring and fault diagnosis system which monitors critical components, supporting an enhanced preventive maintenance regime.