Hong Kong: MTR Corporation Introduces New Light Rail Vehicles

Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation is introducing new vehicles to its light rail system in the Northwest New Territories, which will start carrying passengers on 17 November 2020.

These ‘Phase 5’ light rail vehicles (LRVs) will keep the same exterior design and the white, green and purple colour scheme of the previous generations. The driving cabin – the vehicles are uni-directional – will give drivers a greater sightline. For passengers, the new LRVs will feature better LED lighting and improved handrail and straphanger arrangements.

The first two of the new light rail vehicles have passed their safety and performance tests and have been approved by the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department. They will start carrying passengers on Routes 610 and 751 as a coupled set. A further new LRV is currently in the testing and commissioning stage. Engineers have installed solar panels on the roof of the vehicle as a trial. The electricity is to be used to power the in-vehicle lights.

MTR Corporation ordered 40 new light rail vehicles in 2016. 30 of them will replace current Phase 2 LRVs. The remaining 10 will add to the overall fleet size. In addition to introducing new vehicles, MTR Corporation says it is also working on optimising the timetable.

MTR Corporation is also focusing on smart mobility. The operator’s app, ‘Next Train’ now covers the light rail network as well. Passengers will get estimated arrival times for up to five routes at each light rail stop. MTR Corporation says this app is more informative than the existing passenger information displays installed at the stops.

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