Refurbishing the MTR Phase I Light Rail Vehicles

In 2008 the MTR Corporation accounted the refurbishment of oldest members of the Light Rail fleet – the Comeng-built Phase I Light Rail Vehicles that entered serivce in 1988.

Phase I LRV 1023 on Castle Peak Road in Yuen Long

The 8 July 2008 media release marking their 20 years of service.

As part of the 20th Anniversary activities, the MTR Corporation has planned a HK$90 million modernisation programme for 69 first-generation Light Rail vehicles. Works will begin later this year and will be completed in 2011.

A fresher and more vibrant colour scheme will be used to reflect the youth and energy of the new towns. Nature will be prominently featured through the green colour widely used in the vehicles’ interior, underlying the environmental friendliness of the electrified Light Rail system.

“The interior of the modernised Light Rail vehicles will have a lighter and more relaxed feel with the use of softer lines. The Light Rail route map was the inspiration behind the more dynamic colour scheme as it reflects the transport convenience to the residents,” explained Mr Wilfred Yeung, Chief Architect of MTR Corporation.

Access for the disabled being one improvement.

“In our aim to create a more comfortable travelling environment for passengers, the seating will be rearranged so that they all face forward. In addition, the position of grab poles and handles will be moved to create more room and improve the flow of passengers boarding and alighting vehicles.”

The Corporation will also take advantage of the modernisation project to provide better facilities for the disabled: provision of dedicated wheelchair parking area; brightly coloured stickers applied to grab poles and outer edges of vehicle doors, and light-coloured floor patterns at doorways to make it easier for the visually impaired.

As well as technical upgrades.

At the same time, new static inverters will be installed to power on-board equipments. The new static inverters will bring even quieter Light Rail operations and greater reliability at higher energy efficiency.

The work was completed at the MTR Tuen Mun Depot.

Phase II LRV 1075 departs the depot

With capacity for five LRVs to be refurbished at one time, the process taking 16 weeks, with an interior refresh.

  • installing newly designed seats and changing all seats to the forward direction,
  • updating cab equipment such as seats, controls and sliding doors,
  • reorganizing the interior of the cabin: Handrail arrangement, refurbished carriage floor, multi-purpose space with wheelchair seat belt and back,
  • replacement of lighting.

And mechanical upgrade:

  • bogies,
  • wheels,
  • couplers,
  • air conditioning systems,
  • electronic components,
  • compressors,
  • batteries,
  • door components,
  • air hoses,
  • pantographs,
  • installation of new static converters

On 31 January 2011 LRV 1005 was the first upgraded vehicle to reenter serivce.

It appears brand new, but it is actually a 22-year-old Phase 1 Light Rail vehicle (LRV). Looking refreshed in bright green, purple and white, LRV1005 re-entered passenger service today (31 January 2011) after receiving a total facelift.

LRV1005 is the first to be upgraded under the LRV Modernisation Programme for the 99 LRVs which were put in service since 1988 and 1992. The programme will be gradually implemented in phases over the next five years.

“The modernised LRVs take on the same livery and design as the new LRVs which were introduced into passenger service just last year,” said Mr Ivan Lai, Head of Operating Support & West Region of MTR Corporation.

The look of the refurbished Phase I LRV.

Phase I LRV 1051 on route 614P departs the Tuen Mun ferry pier terminus

Onboard refurbished Phase I LRV 1011

Virtually indistinguishable from the new build Phase IV LRVs.

Phase IV LRV 1127 and classmate approach Ming Kum on route 615P

The exception being the tail end.

Phase I LRV 1037 on route 507 departs the Tuen Mun ferry pier terminus

Phase IV LRVs having a rear emergency exit.

Phase IV LRV 1117 on route 507 arrive at Town Centre stop

The last LRV to be refurbished was 1022, which reentered service 24 December 2013.

A total of 68 Phase I LRVs were refurbished as part of the program, down from 69 vehicles due to the retirement of LRV 1027 following a crash at Tin Shui Wai in 2011.

Mixed trains

The refurbished Phase I LRVs no long look like the Melbourne Z3 class trams they were derived from.

Z3.134 northbound on route 55 at Peel and Victoria Streets

This photo by Gordon Graham shows refurbished Phase I LRV 1005 coupled to unrefurbished LRV 1057.

And a financial footnote

The 2014 MTR Annual Report has the financial details of the refurbishment.

The Supplemental Agreement for the extension of the Original Contract (defined below) for the Mid-Life Refurbishment of Phase 1 Light Rail Vehicles (the “Phase 1 LRVs”), was entered into on 26 February 2010 between the Company and UGL (the “Supplemental Agreement”)

On 30 November 2007, KCRC entered into the Original Contract with UGL (the “Original Contract”), for the refurbishment of the Phase 1 LRVs for a period of 45 months from 30 November 2007 to 31 August 2011.

On 2 December 2007, the rights and obligations of KCRC under the Original Contract were vested in the Company pursuant to section 52(B) of the MTR Ordinance.

The Supplemental Agreement extends the Original Contract for a further period of 16 months from 31 August 2011 until 31 December 2012.

A second supplemental agreement was entered into by the Company and UGL on 21 December 2011 (the “Second Supplemental Agreement”) which extended the Original Contract to 31 December 2013.

A third supplemental agreement was entered into by the Company and UGL on 21 July 2014 (the “Third Supplemental Agreement”) which extended the Original Contract to 17 February 2014.

In consideration of UGL providing the Refurbishment Works (defined below) under the Original Contract, the Company is obliged to pay UGL a total sum of approximately HK$48,260,000 (excluding amounts for variations and additional works).

The Supplemental Agreement extended the scope of the Refurbishment Works of the Original Contract and the consideration payable by the Company to UGL for such extension is HK$83,736,143, as adjusted by an additional HK$14,435,327 and further increased by the Second Supplemental Agreement by an additional HK$34,957,178.

So MTR paid HK$83,736,143 for the refurbishment of their Phase 1 LRVs.

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