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[[Outside the front driving car of a refurbished C151 train.|250px]]
Outside the front driving car of a refurbished C151 train.

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The Kawasaki Heavy Industries C151 trains form one of the four types of electric multiple unit rolling stock found on Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system. These are the oldest trains on the system, which have been running since the MRT system's inception in 1987, and are still in operation today. 66 trainsets consisting of 6 cars each were purchased. These trains are operated by SMRT Corporation, and serve the North South and East West Lines.

These trains were manufactured from 1986 to 1989 in three batches, headed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries (21 trainsets), collaborating with Nippon Sharyo, Tokyu Car Corp and Kinki Sharyo as a Japanese consortium. No visible difference can be found in any of these batches, being built to agreed specifications. The trains underwent a two year mid-life refurbishment program, which was completed on 2 January 2009.

Initial design and constructionEdit

File:Kawasaki train.jpg

Following a round of competitive bidding by companies around the world, a Japanese consortium consisting of Kawasaki Heavy Industries as the leader with Nippon Sharyo, Tokyu Car Corp and Kinki Sharyo was awarded Contract 151 in 1984 at a cost of S$581.5 million for the construction of 396 passenger cars.[1] The award was the largest single contract awarded in the initial construction of the system. The first trainset was delivered to MRT Corporation (now SMRT Corporation) on 8 July 1986 at Bishan Depot, officiated by Dr. Yeo Ning Hong.

The cars had an aluminium-alloy double-skinned construction, and arrived unpainted in order to save time. A red adhesive strip ran through the length of the cars at the middle, giving it a distinctive look. The decision not to paint the cars gave a shiny appearance upon delivery, but as dirt and grime started to accumulate over time it became a problem that came back to haunt the operator repeatedly with public complaints. MRT Corporation first built a machine-wash in an attempt to cleaning up the cars' exterior properly, but reverted to hand-wash when the method did not work out. A series of repainting programmes was begun in the early-2000s to repaint the exteriors of trains, which worked quite well, but refurbishment meant that the new paint did not stand the test of time. It was not until refurbishment that the problem was solved once and for all by covering up the cars' exterior literately with adhesive, giving a new livery that is similar to the C751B cars.

The interior of these trains consists mostly of plastic, with glass partitions separating the seating areas from the passenger doors and metal grab poles. Straps line the middle of every car. The colour scheme of the interior are also different. The cab cars (trailer cars at the ends of the train) have an red colour scheme. The second and fifth motor cars sport a blue interior, while the middle two motor cars use a green colour scheme. These trains have no visual passenger information systems, but have an automatic built-in audio announcement system. There are 7 seats between 2 doors, whereby 4 has been designated as priority seats.

SMRT Active Route Map Information System Edit

All C151s are operational.

Experimental programmesEdit

Trainsets 001/002 and 003/004 were built with interiors installed with frames over priority seats for purposes of placing signage, which remained all the way up to the point of refurbishment.

LCD monitors were installed in carriage number 3132 in the late 90s as part of a pilot program for TV Mobile trial runs. They have since been removed.

A four-car unit was further built by Kawasaki to serve its rounds as a money train. It has since been de-commissioned from service and used by the Singapore Civil Defence Force for training purposes.

On November 2006, the doors of three cars (carriage number 3006, 1006 and 2006) have each been installed with a dynamic in-train system displaying station information for testing, similar to the ones in use by Hong Kong MTR, but they have been removed before the end of the year without entering in service.


File:Kawasaki C151 refurbished.jpg
File:Kawasaki C151 1006.jpg
File:Kawasaki C151 2006.jpg

All C151 trains had completed their refurbishment. On 3 September 2004, Mitsui & Co, RM Transit Technology, Lexbuild and Rotem Company received an order to refurbish all 396 carriages costing S$142.7 million.[2] The renewal works include the refurbishment of seats and other interior fixtures, allocation of space for wheelchair personnel, the upgrading of onboard telecommunications equipment, public announcement system, and the improvement of the internal appearance of the cars.[3]

The exterior of refurbished trains resemble that of C751B cars very closely. The interior fittings were ripped out totally, replaced with white walls and new seats (the seat colours for the driving trailer were changed from orange to red) that were pushed back to allow more standing space.[3] The end of each row of seats has two darker colored seats, which are the priority seats. Seats of the new cars were increased in length from 43 cm to 48 cm, having four seats from each seven seats to have a dark version of the corresponding colour of each car and the rest of the seats in every seven seats with a lighter one.[4] The number of seats per row now 7 down from previously 9, was a decision which found unpopularity among commuters due to less seating capacity.[5] Extra standing area has also been provided to increase the capacity of the refurbished cars.[4] Ten trainsets also have the center portion of the seats in each car removed and were replaced with metal bars to serve as extra standing space.

The engine components have been retained, having performed better than expected.[3] The wheelchair space is available only on the end of two middle cars nearest to the lifts in above ground stations. LED displays that blink when doors are closing were introduced except that it is positioned in the upper middle section of the door.[3] More speakers and advertisement panels were also introduced. Hand grips were moved to the support bars of the seats on the ceiling and grabpoles are now located near the doors and at both ends of each carriage. The air-conditioning system has been changed to match the system used similarly by the C751B cars, with air-conditioning vents and 'in-flow' fans installed.[3] The run number displays of refurbished trains remain unchanged.

SMRT Corporation has also cited reasons of wear and tear of important components over the past two decades of service and water leaks from the air-conditioning system of some trains.[3] The company chose this option in favour over new rolling stock, which would have cost S$792 million.[3] On 5 November 2006, the first refurbished train began revenue services. All trains had since been refurbished.

Safety systems Edit

Kawasaki Heavy Industries C151 cars are equipped with Automatic Train Control (ATC), supplemented with Automatic train operation (ATO). At a fallback level, Automatic Train Protection (ATP) is available.

Serial numberEdit


The car numbers of the trains range from x001 to x132, where x depends on the carriage type. Individual cars are assigned a 4 digit serial number by the rail operator SMRT.

  • The first digit depends upon whether the car is the first, second or third car from either end of the train, where the first car equals 3, the second equals 1 and the third equals 2.
  • The other 3 digits is the train identification number. A full length train of 6 cars have 2 different identification number, one for the first 3 cars, and the same number plus 1, for the other three. The smaller number is always an odd number.
    • For example, trainset 131/132 would consist of 6 cars with serial number 3131, 1131, 2131, 2132, 1132 and 3132 respectively.
    • Depending on the direction of travel, the sequence may be reversed.
    • Kawasaki Heavy Industries built sets 001 - 020, 051 - 062, and 093 - 102.(21 trainsets)
    • Kinki Sharyo co-built sets 021 - 030, 063 - 072, and 103 - 112.(15 trainsets)
    • Nippon Sharyo co-built sets 031 - 040, 073 - 082, and 113 - 122.(15 trainsets)
    • Tokyu Car Corp co-built sets 041 - 050, 083 - 092, and 123 - 132.(15 trainsets)

Vandalism Edit

On May 18, 2010, carriage number 1048 of a Kawasaki Heavy Industries C151 train (set 047-048) was deliberately vandalised. Elaborate graffiti was drawn on the lower half of the carriage. This graffiti has since been removed.[6]


  • Mass Rapid Transit System : Proceedings of the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit Conference, Singapore 6–9 April 1987 (1987), Mass Rapid Transit Corporation (MRTC) and Institution of Engineers Singapore (IES), ISBN 9971-84-636-5


Template:Mass Rapid Transit (Singapore)ja:シンガポール地下鉄C151形電車 zh:川崎重工業C151電力動車組

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