MTR Metro Cammell EMU (AC)

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East Rail line Metro Cammell EMU
3094/K01/K03/K05 stock
MTR East Rail Line MRL Train
HK MTR MLR Interior1.jpg
Interior of a refurbished Metro Cammell EMU
In service 1982–2020
Manufacturer Metro Cammell
Built at Washwood Heath, Birmingham, England
Replaced With MTR R-Stock EMU from 2018–2020
Constructed 1980–1989
Entered service 1982
Refurbishment GEC-Alsthom (1996–1999)
Scrapped From 2019 (E45: 1984)
Number built 351 cars (29 sets and 3 surplus cars)
Number in service 348 cars (29 sets)
Number scrapped Total 3 (2 cars (in 1984 accident), 1 car (depot accident); remaining to be scrapped in 2019
Formation 12-car (including 1 First Class car)
(6 and 9 cars in the past)
Fleet numbers 1xx, 2xx, 3xx, 4xx, 5xx, 6xx
Capacity 1st & 3rd batch cars: 329 passengers per car
2nd, 5th & 6th batch cars: 332 passengers per car
4th batch cars: 72 seating passengers per car
Total capacity: 3718 people per train
Operator(s) KCR (1982–2007)
MTR (2007–present)
Depot(s) Ho Tung Lau
Line(s) served      East Rail line
Car body construction Aluminium and plastic
Car length 23,660 mm (77 ft 7.496 in) (cars with driver cab)/
23,320 mm (76 ft 6.110 in) (other cars) /
24,120 mm (79 ft 1.606 in) (cars with driver cab and couplers)/
23,780 mm (78 ft 0.220 in) (other cars with couplers) /
Width 3,096 mm (10 ft 1.890 in)
Height 3,750 mm (12 ft 3.638 in) (without rooftop equipment)
4,320 mm (14 ft 2.079 in) (with pantograph folded)
Floor height 3.5 ft (1,066.8 mm)
Platform height 3.5 ft (1,066.8 mm)
Doors 5 per side; 2 per side in First Class cars (originally 3 per side for all)
Maximum speed Design 130 km/h (81 mph)
Service 120 km/h (75 mph)
ATO limitation 110 km/h (68 mph)
Traction system

GEC Traction Tap Changer with GEC Traction DC traction motor model G315AZ
After 1989 K03/K05 Stock and Refurbishment:

GEC Traction GTO thyristor Phase Angle Control with GEC Traction DC traction motor model G315AZ
Power output 225 kW or 301.730 hp per motor
3,600 kW or 4,827.680 hp per 12 car set
Acceleration Maximum 2.52 km/(h⋅s) (1.566 mph/s)
Deceleration 3.168 km/(h⋅s) (1.969 mph/s) (in service)
5.0 km/(h⋅s) (3.107 mph/s) (emergency)
Electric system(s) 25 kV AC, 50 Hz Catenary
Current collection method Pantograph
Braking system(s) Pneumatic
Safety system(s) Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company Ltd AWS (former),
After 1994-1998: GEC-Alsthom TBL2 (enhanced with ATP and ATS with ATO (Year:2002)
Coupling system Tightlock coupling, Semi-permanent coupler
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Bogie centres:16,100 mm (52 ft 9.858 in)
Door centres:7,600 mm (24 ft 11.213 in) → 3,800 mm (12 ft 5.606 in)
Door width: 1,400 mm (4 ft 7.118 in)

The East Rail line Metro Cammell EMU is a model of electric multiple unit built by Metro Cammell for the original Kowloon-Canton Railway (now the East Rail Line) in Hong Kong. The 29 sets are owned by and were originally operated by the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation (KCRC). They have been operated by MTR Corporation (MTRC) after it merged with KCRC in 2007. Although another set of EMU trains from the same manufacturer operate on some of MTR's own lines, there are some significant differences between the two models, with the Metro Cammell EMUs of the original MTR being known as the Modernization Train.

All 29 sets will be retired from service from 2019-2020 and, together with the newer SP1900 EMUs built by Kinki Sharyo, will be replaced by brand-new Hyundai Rotem EMU trains ordered in December 2012. These 37 9-car "R-Trains" are manufactured by the same company as the K-Stock operating on the Tung Chung Line, the Tseung Kwan O Line, and the Kwun Tong Line.

The difference phases of this series of train have entitled with different model numbers, including: 3094 stock, K01 stock, K03 stock and K05 stock.

The MLR is the only electric multiple unit of the Mass Transit Railway that does not have regenerative braking. The difference is obvious due to the lack of motor sound and the presence of air brake sounds while braking.


A Metro Cammell EMU train in original form, 1993.
A Metro Cammell EMU train in original form, taken in August 1993.

The trains were ordered during the electrification of the KCR British section, now known as MTR East Rail Line, in 1978. Sets E1-E45 and E46-E61 were delivered to KCRC in 2 batches in 1982-1983, when electrification was completed first between Hung Hom and Sha Tin, and from then to Lo Wu respectively. KCRC also reordered further train sets in 1986 (sets E62-E86) and 1990 (sets E87-E118). These trains may suffer from temporary loss of electricity while passing neutral sections (or dead zones) due to the lack of internal batteries.

The exteriors of the trains before refurbishment featured a red stripe running down the length of the trains, and the design of the front part of the first and last cars, which encapsulated the driver's cab, was commonly referred to as the "Yellow-cab" due to its aforementioned colour.

Prior to the rule proclaimed in 1994 which fixed the number of cars on each trainset to 12, trains were inconsistent in terms of length, ranging from six cars (two EMUs), nine cars (three EMUs) to 12 cars (four EMUs).


Like the MTR Metro Cammell EMUs (Modernization Train), KCR Metro Cammell EMUs have undergone major refurbishment from 1996 to 1999 to extend their lifespan, carried out by the successor of Metro-Cammell, Alstom. The trains were converted to fixed 12-car sets and received a new exterior livery of blue bodies and red doors. They also received rebuilt front ends which did not feature an emergency escape door and five doors per car side instead of the original three (excluding first class which has two doors per side). Interior refurbishments included the replacement of transverse seating by longitudinal bench seats to create more space for standing passengers (although transverse seating was retained in First Class). The freight compartment between the driving cab and First Class compartment was removed along with its doors, together with intermediate driving compartments, toilets, and gangway doors (excluding First Class). The trains also received new passenger information systems, including multi-colour LED signs displaying train destination, the next station, safety guidelines, and the time and temperature. They also have 22-inch LCD screens mounted above windows, broadcasting looping daily TV news provided by Cable TV Hong Kong (Newsline Express) and advertisements.

Also, the safety systems were changed to TBL (enhanced with ATP) from AWS in 1998 and ATC/ATO in 2002.[1]

The refurbishment reflected the significant change of role of KCR's British section, because of the development of New Territories new towns. The refurbished trains are also known as Mid-Life Refurbishment Train (MLR Train).

The only non-refurbished train was E44 (144-244-444), which has since been scrapped.


Cars of East Rail Line Metro Cammell train
car type driver cab motor batteries pantograph first class length
seat standing
1xx 23750 42 287 29
2xx 23750 52 280 116
3xx 23750 47 275 29
4xx 23750 72 - 29
5xx 23750 51/52 280/281 58
6xx 23750 51/52 280/281 87

Configuration of East Rail Line Metro Cammell EMU is (southbound) 1xx-2xx-5xx-6xx-2xx-5xx-6xx-2xx-4xx-6xx-2xx-3xx/1xx-2xx-5xx-5xx-2xx-6xx-6xx-2xx-4xx-6xx-2xx-3xx (northbound).[2]

southbound (towards Hung Hom) (towards Lo Wu/Lok Ma Chau) northbound
  • (E1)101-201-501-615-215-515-633-233-433-626-226-326(E26)
  • (E2)102-202-502-616-216-516-642-242-442-675-275-375(E75)
  • (E3)103-203-503-684-284-584-648-248-448-625-225-325(E25)
  • (E4)104-204-504-611-211-511-641-241-441-666-266-366(E66)
  • (E5)105-205-505-614-214-514-647-247-447-659-259-359(E59)
  • (E6)106-206-506-686-286-586-652-252-452-668-268-368(E68)
  • (E7)107-207-507-612-212-512-649-249-449-672-272-372(E72)
  • (E8)108-208-508-617-217-517-634-234-434-669-269-369(E69)
  • (E9)109-209-509-685-285-585-651-251-451-628-228-328(E28)
  • (E80)180-280-580-610-210-510-631-231-431-629-229-329(E29)
  • (E81)181-281-581-613-213-513-630-230-430-621-221-321(E21)
  • (E82)182-282-582-679-279-579-632-232-432-624-224-324(E24)
  • (E83)183-283-583-620-220-520-655-255-455-674-274-374(E74)
  • (E88)188-288-588-587-287-687-637-237-437-662-262-362(E62)
  • (E90)190-290-590-589-289-689-638-238-438-623-223-323(E23)
  • (E92)192-292-592-591-291-691-654-254-454-670-270-370(E70)
  • (E94)194-294-594-593-293-693-656-256-456-664-264-364(E64)
  • (E96)196-296-596-595-295-695-657-257-457-677-277-377(E77)
  • (E98)198-298-598-597-297-697-650-250-450-663-263-363(E63)
  • (E100)1100-2100-5100-599-299-699-646-246-446-622-222-322(E22)
  • (E102)1102-2102-5102-5101-2101-6101-635-235-435-660-260-360(E60)
  • (E104)1104-2104-5104-5103-2103-6103-658-258-458-678-278-378(E78)
  • (E106)1106-2106-5106-5105-2105-6105-639-239-439-627-227-327(E27)
  • (E108)1108-2108-5108-5107-2107-6107-636-236-436-665-265-365(E65)
  • (E110)1110-2110-5110-5109-2109-6109-640-240-440-661-261-361(E61)
  • (E112)1112-2112-5112-5111-2111-6111-618-218-418-671-271-371(E71)
  • (E114)1114-2114-5114-5113-2113-6113-619-219-419-667-267-367(E67)
  • (E116)1116-2116-5116-5115-2115-6115-653-253-453-676-276-376(E76)
  • (E118)1118-2118-5118-5117-2117-6117-643-243-443-673-273-373(E73)

Accidents and incidents[edit]

Train accidents[edit]

On 25 November 1984, an East Rail Metro Cammell EMU train derailed between Sheung Shui and Lo Wu station. The incident occurred when the driver, preparing to back the train up to Sheung Shui station, failed to follow a speed/stop signal while the train was exceeding the speed limit. The train crashed into a boulder buffer with the first two cars piling on top of each other. The degree of damage was so extensive that the cars never returned to service. Passengers were unloaded prior to the crash while the driver sustained only minor injuries. However, the accident caused train services to be suspended for the rest of the day and the incident spurred a series of public outcries concerning railway safety. Set E45 (which was 233-234-235) was hence commissioned as a result of the accident to replace the damaged cars.

The depot accident included the only remaining coach no. 233 on E45, and coach no. 272 on E58. 233 took over the crashed 272 on E58 and became the current 458 in the late 90s. After then, the whole set E45 was scrapped, and a 1:1 yellow head model was included until it made room for the retired locomotive 51.

Underframe cracking[edit]

On 21 December 2005, an East Rail Metro Cammell EMU train failed while in operation. Following examination of the train, KCRC staff detected minor cracks in the welding of mounting brackets for some underframe components. A review panel commissioned by KCRC looked into the problem from four aspects:[3]

  • the rate of change of the acceleration and deceleration of trains
  • the welding of components' mounting brackets
  • the profile of the track and train wheels
  • suspension system

Since the full introduction of Automatic train operation (ATO) on the East Rail system in 2002, the rate of change of acceleration and deceleration resulting from ATO driving added stress to the underframe components. To allow a root cause investigation to be carried out, the use of the ATO system was suspended on 15 January 2006, leaving the operation of trains back in the hands of the train drivers, the safety of train operation under the control of the Automatic Train Protection system.[1] This resulted in a decreased frequency (from 24 to 23 trains per hour) and lengthened trip time (increase by 90 seconds to 42.5 minutes).[3] KCRC also temporarily transferred some staff from West Rail to cope with recent maintenance of trains.

The Environment, Transport and Works Bureau reprimanded the KCRC for not immediately notifying the Government when it found problems with its East Rail trains in 2005. Secretary for the Bureau Dr Sarah Liao said she has ordered the KCRC to inspect all its trains, and did not rule out suspending services if there are safety doubts. Dr Liao ordered the chairman to review the corporation's operations, including its management and overall system, and submit a report. KCRC Chairman Michael Tien accepted responsibility for the corporation's poor judgement in not sharing the information with the public in a timely matter.

On 21 January 2006, Michael Tien stated that the safety problems of East Rail had been controlled, and the train service was expected to operate as usual, including train service in the Chinese New Year. KCRC East Rail trains reverted to ATO operation on 6 August 2006, after the investigation confirmed that the ATO system is not a direct cause of the cracking.[1]

Other details[edit]

Preserved examples[edit]

A 1:1 scale model was once on display at the Hong Kong Railway Museum, built from components of carriage 272 of set E58. The model has since been scrapped to make room for Locomotive 51.[4]

Scrapped Units and Surplus Cars[edit]

E45 (which was 233-234-235) was supposed to be 145-245-445. After the incident, the only remaining coach was coach no. 233. Coach 233 replaced the crashed 272 in E58 and officially became coach no. 272, and then 458. Due to the extensive damage, coaches 234 and 235 were wrecked in the 1984 accident in a siding, and the only remaining historical train was E44 (144-244-444).

If these were not involved, 144 and 145 would have become 644 and 645.

After refurbishment[edit]

Prior to the removal of the driving compartments, coaches 1xx became 6xx, and 3xx became 5xx, but the 6-car trains became 6xx.



  1. ^ a b c "Automatic Train Operation (ATO) of East Rail trains" (PDF). Legislative Council Panel on Transport Subcommittee on Matters Relating to Railways. Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation. May 2007. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  2. ^ zh:港鐵中期翻新列車#車廂編組
  3. ^ a b "KCREast Rail Train Incident on 21 December" (PDF). Legislative Council Panel on Transport Subcommittee on matters relating to railways Special Meeting on 18 January 2006. Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation. January 2006. Retrieved 2010-12-23.
  4. ^ "1:1 Yelloe-head model". Retrieved 2011-02-16.

External links[edit]