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35 trains ordered by SMRT secretly sent back to China

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  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    265,935 posts since Dec '99
  • gekpohboy's Avatar
    2,180 posts since Mar '16
    • The news is already so viral, how is this a secret? I think SMRT and/or the LTA better come out and say something, or take some actions, or something.

      Edited by gekpohboy 05 Jul `16, 11:23PM
  • lemon1974's Avatar
    9,560 posts since Dec '04
    • Originally posted by gekpohboy:

      The news is already so viral, how is this a secret? I think SMRT and/or the LTA must come out and say something, or take some actions, or something.

      mr president scholar, so next time, LTA must announce on fb/tweeter/forums/newspaper etc etc when they returned any trains/buses or when they send some trains/buses for repairs? or must ask your permission? 

  • gekpohboy's Avatar
    2,180 posts since Mar '16
    • Originally posted by lemon1974:

      mr president scholar, so next time, LTA must announce on fb/tweeter/forums/newspaper etc etc when they returned any trains/buses or when they send some trains/buses for repairs? or must ask your permission? 

      Come on. The trains were purchased using the tax collected from us. Furthermore, 70% of us voted for them. They are accountable to us.

      I am disappointed that they actually used our money to buy something of poor quality.

      If a good quality train costs more, then buy less trains la. In my opinion, I rather have reliable train services at low frequency, than to have trains running at high frequency but often breakdown.

      It's not as if the Singapore government cannot afford to buy good quality trains. Why did they opt for cheapskate trains? :(

      Edited by gekpohboy 05 Jul `16, 11:31PM
  • SMB3163D's Avatar
    1,438 posts since Apr '16
  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    265,935 posts since Dec '99
    • Originally posted by SMB3163D:

      Sorry, this page isn't available

    • Several China-made MRT trains have been found to be defective and are being shipped back to their manufacturer.

      In a statement to the media yesterday, Mr Lee Ling Wee, the managing director of SMRT Trains, said cracks were found in 26 trains that were delivered in 2013.

      "Our engineers discovered that 26 of the 35 trains delivered by the manufacturer had cracks in the structure connecting the car body and the bogie," he said.

      A bogie refers to the structure underneath a train to which axles and wheels are attached.

      Mr Lee said that all 26 defective trains are still under warranty and will be repaired by the manufacturer by 2023.

      The defects were brought to light after online news portal FactWire reported yesterday that several train cars were seen being transported from SMRT's Bishan Depot to Jurong Port, and were believed to have been shipped to Qingdao, China, last month.

      The report also alleged that these defects could have a serious impact.

      FactWire quoted former Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation acting chief executive officer Samuel Lai, who was reported as saying that train components usually cracked due to age.

      He told FactWire: "It is very unusual for cracks to appear in new components, and you don't know how much pressure it can withstand after that, because running puts a lot of pressure on the train's car body."

      A spokesman for the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said it had been working closely with train manufacturer, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang, on the defects.

      The defects, said the spokesman, "are not safety-critical" and "do not affect the train's systems or performance".


      Kawasaki Heavy Industries is a Japanese company that oversees the design of the trains, while CSR Sifang is a Chinese company that manufactures and tests them. The two formed a consortium and have won multiple contracts from SMRT, supplying other batches of trains.

      In May last year, a report in The Straits Times noted that a batch of 45 new trains from the consortium were being delivered for use on the North-South and East-West lines.

      Both SMRT and LTA said that trains in Singapore are extensively tested before being put into service.

      "To ensure that the trains are safe for passenger service at all times, we have been monitoring the defects closely," said Mr Lee.

      "A monthly safety assessment is also conducted by the LTA and manufacturer before the train is put into service."

      It is not known if any of the defective trains were previously used in service before the defects were detected.

      The LTA spokesman said: "Every train also undergoes a comprehensive regime of static and dynamic testing as well as interface testing to ensure its structural and operational integrity.

      "After the testing is completed, the trains are delivered to Singapore for further testing before they are placed for passenger service."


  • QX179R's Avatar
    85,158 posts since Feb '08
    • Car-body replacement for five out of 26 defective trains complete: LTA

      SINGAPORE: Following recent media reports about defective trains being shipped back to its manufacturer for repairs, the Land Transport Authority on Wednesday (Jul 6) issued a statement reiterating that trains on the North-South and East-West Lines are safe for service. The statement is reproduced below: 


      The Land Transport Authority would like to address some of the issues related to the 26 North-South and East-West Lines (NSEWL) trains that have been the subject of recent media and online discussion.

      The Land Transport Authority awarded Contract 151A in 2009 to Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang to design, manufacture, and deliver 35 new trains for the NSEWL. The trains were progressively put into service from February 2011, following rigorous testing of their safety and reliability.

      Battery and Draughtscreen Issues

      Prior to the commencement of passenger service, all new trains arriving in Singapore would be put through testing and commissioning. The same was done for the KHI-CSR Sifang trains. During such testing, there was an incident on one train where the cover of the train battery housing flew open due to a build-up of gases. The manufacturer took immediate action to replace its supplier and improved the design of the battery housing for all affected trains.

      Incidents of cracks of the draughtscreen on five trains were also discovered. These were found to be caused by errors during the installation process and unrelated to the hairline cracks found on the 26 trains’ car-bodies.

      It is not unusual to detect some defects on new trains. We then take appropriate action to have them rectified by the manufacturer.

      Hairline Cracks

      In July 2013, during a routine inspection of the trains, hairline cracks on the surface of the car-body bolster were found. 22 of the 26 trains were in passenger service then. LTA immediately carried out further inspections. No cracks were found on other components of the trains. (Please see Appendix 1 and 2 for the location of the car-body bolster and an example of a hairline crack.)

      Laboratory tests showed that these hairline cracks were due to localised impurity in the aluminium car-body material that occurred during the manufacturing process. LTA engineers and its contractor assessed that the hairline cracks would not affect the operational safety of the trains. To confirm this, LTA further sought the opinion of an independent third-party assessor, TUV Rheinland, which concurred that the trains were safe to operate.

      Due to the nature of the defect, the most effective way of addressing it is to replace the entire car-body shell. As the trains were under warranty, we required the contractor to replace the entire car body shell. Hence, since July 2014, the affected trains have been progressively sent back to the factory for rectification works . The costs of the shipping are borne by the contractor.

      To ensure that this unexpected occurrence did not affect our train deployment, LTA has been working closely with SMRT. The replacement of a train car body is time consuming and labour-intensive, with each car body replacement taking up to four months. Hence, to minimise the impact on our train operations in Singapore as well as the lack of facilities and space for repair works of this nature at our depots, only one train is sent back to the factory in China at any one time. We did not send all of the trains back at once as they were still fit and safe for service and we wanted to ensure sufficient train-availability for commuters.

      Starting next year, with the arrival of more new trains for NSEWL and when trains currently undergoing resignalling are ready, LTA will be able to send two trains concurrently for replacement works. This will speed up the rectification programme and its completion can be brought forward to 2019.

      As of today, the car-body replacement for five of the 26 trains has been completed. The car-body of the sixth train is being replaced. As per safety protocols, LTA, together with the contractor, will continue to carry out rigorous inspections to ensure that all trains are safe for service.


      In a statement to the media, public transport operator SMRT said the decision to send the defective trains back to the manufacturer for repairs will not affect train service availability or frequency. 


      The statement is reproduced below: 


      Passenger safety is paramount to SMRT, and under no circumstance will this be compromised. Any train that is assessed to be defective or unfit for passenger service is not put into service. The C151A trains which were discovered to have hairline cracks are the newest in our fleet serving the North-South East-West Lines. We have been closely monitoring the situation with LTA and the manufacturer, and the defects have been deemed to be not safety-critical. The decision to send the trains back to the manufacturer for rectification will not affect train service availability or frequency, as these are being done in small batches.

      - CNA

    • No brackets added: Structural integrity of defective trains unaffected, says LTA

      SINGAPORE: The Land Transport Authority (LTA) on Thursday (Jul 7) refuted a report by Hong Kong-based media outlet FactWire suggesting that the cracks found in 26 of the 35 trains delivered to SMRT in 2013 affected the structural integrity of the trains.


      The Jul 5 FactWire report cited emails provided by Hong Kong “government sources” about the defective trains in Singapore, claiming that "thousands of brackets had been added to the relevant areas, as a temporary measure to ensure the safety integrity of the underframe sub-floor member to prevent the equipment from falling down onto the track”.


      Responding to queries from Channel NewsAsia, LTA said the hairline cracks are “on the surface of the car-body bolster”, which is fixed to the train car-body. It added that the cracks did not affect the structural integrity of the train. "We did not add brackets at any time to the underframe," said LTA.



      The defective trains were purchased under the C151A contract, and the Kawasaki-Sifang consortium (KSF) - comprising Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CRRC Qingdao Sifang - has been awarded two additional contracts since then: C151B and C151C. The latter was awarded in 2015, two years after the defects were discovered, and involves a S$137 million deal for 12 new trains.


      On these contracts, LTA said that in assessing the contractors, it looked at "the overall quality that the contractor can deliver.” LTA said: “We also considered that the contractor was able to quickly identify the cause of the defects, take responsibility and carry out the necessary action promptly to rectify the fault.”


      In both subsequent contracts - C151B and C151C - for additional North-South and East-West Line (NSEWL) trains, LTA said KSF had the "highest quality score" among the other tenderers.


      The quality score is based on different aspects such as technical proposals, project management and train manufacturer competency, LTA said. "Kawasaki also had a proven track record having provided the first set of NSEWL trains.”


      LTA added that it has a "robust and comprehensive tender process with strict procedures that ensure (its) procurement systems adhere to the highest and most rigorous standards".



      In a separate media statement, the Kawasaki-Sifang consortium confirmed the information provided by LTA, and reiterated that the issues, such as the hairline cranks of the car-body bolster, batteries and draughtscreen, “do not affect the operational performance and safety of the C151A trains”.

      The consortium also said it will resolve all issues “satisfactorily” as it is a “responsible contractor”.


      It also refuted online reports of fake test data, saying that it “accords high level of integrity when carrying out testing and commissioning works.


      “After delivering the trains to Singapore, KSF demonstrated function and performance of trains in testing and commissioning at site,” the consortium said in its media statement. “There are no ways to cover up any non-conformity to the specifications.”


      - CNA/xk

  • AJQZC's Avatar
    1,040 posts since Sep '08
    • Maybe they did their "extensive testing" in China, but when the trains come over to Singapore their structures cannot take it under the hot and humid climate?

  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    265,935 posts since Dec '99
    • maybe they over-tested there so when reach here just nice spoil le

    • Cracks on China-assembled trains not safety risk: Khaw


      Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan reiterated yesterday that the hairline cracks found on 26 China- assembled trains were not a safety risk, and withdrawing them from service for rectifications did not affect capacity levels on the North- South and East-West lines.

      This was why the defects - brought to light last month by Hong Kong media outfit FactWire - were not publicised, he said in Parliament in response to questions from MPs.

      He added that the Japanese-Chinese consortium that supplied the trains, Kawasaki-Sifang, won subsequent tenders fairly and had displayed exemplary behaviour in shipping the trains back to China to have their car bodies replaced - at its own expense.


      Our train tenders have always been conducted in an open and transparent manner, and are based objectively on quality and price assessments.

      TRANSPORT MINISTER KHAW BOON WAN, on tenders called after the MRT train defects were found.

      The warranty period on the car bodies and bolster parts was also reset for five years - one year for defective liability and another four years of extended warranty, he said.

      Hairline cracks were found in 2013 - some two years after the trains went into service - on the bolsters, an aluminium alloy structure under the train carriages that are welded to the car bodies.

      The cracks developed due to defects in the manufacturing process that resulted in impurities being introduced in the aluminium.

      Since July 2014, the trains have been sent to Qingdao progressively to be fixed, and five trains have gone through the rectifications. One train is currently in Qingdao, with the other 20 to be rectified by 2019.

      "The concern about the defects had thus been resolved when we called the tender for more trains in 2014 and 2015," he told the House.

      "Our train tenders have always been conducted in an open and transparent manner, and are based objectively on quality and price assessments," Mr Khaw said, recapitulating points he made to the media last month.

      In 2009, Kawasaki-Sifang was awarded an initial $368 million contract to supply 22 new trains for the North-South and East-West lines, with more trains purchased later.

      It continued to win more orders, including a $749 million contract in 2014 to supply 91 four-car trains for the upcoming Thomson-East Coast Line.

      In reply to Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan's question about whether cracks were found on other train models, Mr Khaw said they were also discovered last year on the underframe of train cars used on the Bukit Panjang LRT.

      He said that manufacturer Bombardier inspected the defects and found the trains safe to operate.

      The cracks on the 19 trains are being welded here, Mr Khaw said. To date, 12 trains have been rectified, with the rest to be fixed by October.

      A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2016, with the headline 'Cracks on China-assembled trains not safety risk: Khaw'. 
  • ^Acid^ aka s|aO^eH~'s Avatar
    31,272 posts since Oct '02
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