Date
11 December 2017
Anthony Cheung (inset) says the government is concerned about the reported recall of Singapore rolling stock by CSR Sifang and is demanding 100 percent safety for new Hong Kong trains. Photos: Bloomberg, HKEJ
Anthony Cheung (inset) says the government is concerned about the reported recall of Singapore rolling stock by CSR Sifang and is demanding 100 percent safety for new Hong Kong trains. Photos: Bloomberg, HKEJ

MTRC ordered to make safety report after Singapore train recall

MTR Corp. (MTRC) has been told to submit a safety report to the Hong Kong government after a Chinese train maker was reported to have secretly recalled rolling stock from the Singaporean rail operator for structural defects.

Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung said the government is concerned about the incident and demanded “100 percent safety” for new trains, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports, citing news wbsite FactWire.

On Wednesday, train maker CSR Sifang Locomotive & Rolling Stock Company Ltd. (CSR Sifang) was reported to have secretly shipped back entire compartments last month for repairs after cracks were found on the body of the locomotives and in structural components.

CSR Sifang is scheduled to deliver more than 100 trains to MTR Corp. (00066.HK) starting this year.

Cheung has asked MTRC for information about the incident and to make a report to the government. 

MTRC has ordered nine trains for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link (XLR).

Three high-speed trains will be delivered in late-2016 and 93 urban locomotives in 2018.

The trains are priced 40 percent lower than the Singapore locomotives despite coming from the same manufacturer, according to data from MTRC and the Singapore government cited by FactWire. 

Experts from the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) and MTRC will be sent to Singapore to talk to their counterparts from SMRT Trains Ltd., Cheung said.

He said the new trains will undergo further structural testing and trials after they are shipped to Hong Kong.

The MTRC will appoint an independent safety consultant to give a report to the EMSD after each phase of the checks.

MTRC said the 93 new trains from CSR Sifang will be made of stainless steel, rather than aluminum alloy that was reportedly used on the 35 trains delivered to SMRT.

Aluminum used on the trains of the Hong Kong section of the high-speed railway was imported from a Japanese company different from Singapore’s supplier.

The 10 Chinese-made trains in operation in Hong Kong were bought from the Changchun Railway Vehicles Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of China CNR Corp., in 2008.

MTRC subsequently made a HK$1.74 billion order for nine CRH380A high-speed trains from CSR Sifang in 2012.

Construction of the first three trains has been completed.

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