The first trains ran on Hong Kong’s MTR network way back in 1979, and almost forty years later these trains still remain in service, albeit having been refurbished and upgraded a number of times.
The first batch of ‘Phase 1’ trains was delivered by British firm Metro Cammell between 1979–1982, followed by phase 2A trains in 1982–1985, phase 2B trains in 1985–1986, phase 2C in 1988–1989, and the final phase 3 trains in 1994–1998. Refurbishment of the trains by Australian firm United Goninan commenced at the MTR Kowloon Bay Depot in 1998, with the last train being outshopped in 2001.
To farewell the last of the non-refurbished trains, on 19 August 2001 the MTR operate a special “Charity Ride on the Last First-Generation MTR Train” (第一代地鐵列車榮休之旅列車) with local railfans being out in force.
A total of 93 refurbished Metro Cammell EMUs remain in serivce on the network today, but all will be replaced by new CSR Sifang-built trains to be delivered between 2018 and 2023.
More on the ‘Charity Ride on the Last First-Generation MTR Train’ in 2001: