Hyundai Rotem Company (HRC) has commissioned a full-scale mock-up of the J151 train with different interior fittings for the Land Transport Authority (LTA).
The mock-up is located at LTA’s Hampshire Road Office, open for viewing for invited guests. LTA has produced surveys for the public to indicate their preferred design options.
The SGTrains team has visited the mock-up and here are our opinions.
Hyundai Rotem J151
The Hyundai Rotem J151 trains are the first-generation of rolling stock for the Jurong Region Line (JRL). 62 trains of three cars each were purchased and will be delivered into Singapore from mid-2024 onwards.
The new trains will be made up of three smaller train cars, allowing them to be more manoeuvrable along the tighter curves as the JRL will be passing through an already built-up area. They can also be easily reformed into four-car trainsets in the future.
Dynamic Route Map Display
The Dynamic Route Map Displays (DRMD) are longitudinal displays found above the train doors. It supplies travel information such as route diagrams, door opening and station information to passengers on board.
For the J151 train, they are installed above each door with two stylings up for choice; the rounded-edge design (A1) and the tapered-edge design (A2).
We feel that the tapered-edge design (A2) is more superior to the rounded-edge design (A1). It is more aesthetically pleasing when viewed together with the train cabin and doors.
The reason being is that there is already an abundance of round-edged elements throughout the train such as the saloon and door windows, and having even more rounded elements might seem exaggerated.
Door Pillar Paints
The edges near the doors are painted in the JRL colour of teal in two designs.
We feel that this is a welcomed addition as it highlights the presence of the grab poles to passengers on board.
However, the full-height design (B2) stands out further as it also calls attention to the door gasket nearby.
It can prevent inattentive passengers from placing their hands directly over the gasket, which could risk injuries when the door operates.
Draught screens are present to separate the seating and standee area near the doors.
Multiple designs are in use throughout the rail system. For the J151 train, there are four designs options available for choice.
We feel that the four choices may not necessarily incorporate elements from landmarks in the west, specifically the Jurong West region where the line will be built.
The incorporation of the said elements would invoke a sense of belonging for residents living in the west when travelling on the JRL.
It could be better if there is a representation for the area that it is serving. Landmarks in the west include Peng Kang Hill, Jurong Bird Park and the lighthouse at Raffles Marina in Tuas.
However, the current choices feature elements taken from the Merlion and Suntec’s Fountain of Wealth, all of which are not in close proximity to where the train is operated at.
Based on our observations from existing rolling stocks, particularly the trains plying the North-South Line (NSL) and East-West Line (EWL) which uses the light grey floor colour, it is preferable that the black colour (E3) is used on the J151 trains.
The other two colours are lighter-toned, which can attract grime and dirt to show up much easier, especially with age.
This is apparent on several NSL and EWL trains that use the light grey colour, such as the fifth-generation Kawasaki-CSR Sifang C151B trains.
The use of darker-toned flooring can enhance the appearance of the floor as it aids in camouflaging dirt.
An ideal example is the flooring used on the third-generation Kawasaki-Nippon Sharyo C751B trains running on the NSL and EWL, looking pristine even after 21 years of usage.
This would uphold the Singapore MRT’s image as a sanitary mode of transport.
Door Closing Indicator
Based on the mock-up, the door closing indicator above the doors is flushed into the overhead panel, creating a problem where it is not easily visible to commuters standing at the train platform.
A better workaround would be to return to the design used on the fifth-generation Kawasaki-CSR Sifang C151B and sixth-generation Kawasaki-CRRC Sifang C151C trains running on the NSL and EWL.
Those trains feature a slightly protruded door closing indicator, improving visibility for commuters that are rushing towards the closing doors.
Double Glazed Window
As the JRL is an elevated line, it is imperative that the air-cooling ability of the train’s air conditioning system satisfies the operating profile of the line, which features more frequent opening of doors.
On the other hand, the need to conserve energy makes running the air conditioning at full power throughout the day impractical.
A reasonable solution would be to utilise double glazed windows for all saloon and door windows.
Double glazed windows allow a layer of fluid (in a gaseous state) to be sandwiched between two pieces of glass, which increases the window’s overall resistance to energy transfer.
In a rolling stock setting, it will have an insulating effect against external heat for the inside of the train.
Usage of Equipment to Reduce Noise
The JRL will be built within already built-up residential areas hence, multiple tight curves are unavoidable throughout the line.
These tight curves are a source of noise, especially if loud screeching noises caused by wheel flange contact with the railhead is present.
Overseas rail operators have flange lubrication equipment installed on the bogies of their trains. One touted benefit of flange lubrication is reduced noise emission.
It is also able to reduce the rate of wear on the railhead and flanges as prolonged flange contact with the railhead also accelerates the wear rate, requiring more frequent checks and maintenance.
The bogies of the train can also be covered to shield off running noise. Several overseas rolling stocks have covers built-in for the entire undercarriage of the train. An example is the Japanese-manufactured Kinki Sharyo-Kawasaki SP1900 trains for the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway (MTR).
Although having covers may complicate inspection and maintenance, the potential advantage may outweigh this drawback as it is important that residents are not affected by the very trains that are supposed to serve them.
Removal of Triplicated Pole
There is a single triplicated pole installed in the middle of adjacent doors, in-between the two rows of seats.
The J151 trains are slightly narrower than their counterparts running on other rail lines. As a result, there is a concern for the manoeuvrability of passengers in a wheelchair particularly during an emergency, when the detrainment ramp is in use.
It would be sensible to remove the pole completely as shifting the pole to the sides of the train seats may not be feasible as it hinders access to equipment stored under them.
Moreover, there is already an abundance of handgrips around the train car, the lack of the triplicated pole is likely to have a negligible impact in terms of support for passengers.
SGTrains is heartened to see the effort and innovations put into engineering and designing the J151 train.
We are keenly waiting in anticipation to see the efforts and challenges by the engineers and designers come to fruition when the Jurong Region Line commence passenger service.
Check Out Other Related Posts
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Hyundai Rotem J151 – SGTrains
Jurong Region Line – SGTrains
Hyundai Rotem Company Awarded Contract for 62 Jurong Region Line Trains – LTA [Accessed 17 Aug 2021]
JRL Train Mock-Up Online Public Engagement – LTA/FormSG [Accessed 17 Aug 2021]
Images adapted from LTA and N509FZ/Wikimedia