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bikkuri bahn

MRT trains sent back to manufacturer

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bikkuri bahn

Singapore-based forumers are probably already well-acquainted with this story, but here is some information of recent developments:

SINGAPORE - Several of Singapore's first China-made MRT trains are being shipped back to their manufacturer for structural defects.

The trains, numbering more than two dozen, are barely five years old.

They were made by China Southern Railway (CSR) Qingdao Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock Company, which together with Japan's Kawasaki Heavy Industries, won the first contract here to supply 22 six-car trains for the North-South and East-West lines in 2009 for $368 million.

[...]

Quoting a source from CSR Sifang, FactWire said Kawasaki Heavy Industries was taking over the manufacturing of the flawed aluminium train car body, while the Chinese company will disassemble each recalled train and refit its parts onto the new body.

 

http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/transport/china-made-mrt-trains-sent-back-to-fix-defects

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katoftw

WE got one of those in Australia also.  The body buckled when being lifted out of the ship though.  Turns out it was only tack welded in areas and somebody had forgotten to completely seem weld the thing.  All other gear like interior paneling and electrics fitted.  Passes QA (somehow) and the train sent on its merry way.  That is what you get for building trains in India.

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JR 500系

And they continue to jack up ticket fares, claiming it now costs them a lot more to maintain ~

 

Oh well...

 

Anyhow, I seriously wouldn't be surprised at all if the High Speed Rail were to be that from China...

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Das Steinkopf

Let's see how long it will take to find asbestos fibres inside the trains as well, it's sad how many countries have degraded their own manufacturing capabilities all because they want to buy cheap substandard products from China.

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Davo Dentetsu

Let's see how long it will take to find asbestos fibres inside the trains as well, it's sad how many countries have degraded their own manufacturing capabilities all because they want to buy cheap substandard products from China.

Topical, would you believe Perth's newest Children's Hospital that's yet to be opened just had asbestos discovered in brand spanking new Chinese ceiling boards?  Fantastic, isn't it?

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katoftw

Let's see how long it will take to find asbestos fibres inside the trains as well, it's sad how many countries have degraded their own manufacturing capabilities all because they want to buy cheap substandard products from China.

Our new trains have that also.  In the wiring and motor insulation.  Now costing more money to fix.

 

My understanding is that Perth rail was looking at these options also.  But after our first train, then have gone back to Walkers in Maryborough.

Edited by katoftw

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kvp

One way is to make your own. Another way is to get a well known company with modern technology to open a factory locally. Good examples are Hitachi in the UK and Stadler in Hungary and Poland.

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bikkuri bahn

One problem, at least in the U.S., are laws/requirements that the lowest bidder must be given the contract, regardless of merit.  Plus public officials tend to be corrupt.

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westfalen

One way is to make your own. Another way is to get a well known company with modern technology to open a factory locally. Good examples are Hitachi in the UK and Stadler in Hungary and Poland.

We were doing that, we've sold light rail vehicles to Hong Kong and Malaysia among others in past years, but Bombardier can employ Indians for a lot cheaper than Australians.  Add a premier who steadfastly insisted on doing things his way despite what QR management and workers were telling him and you end up with the New Generation Rollingstock, and a new line that can't be used because the cheaper signalling he insisted upon is incompatible with the rest of the network.

 

On the bright side, sort of, I noticed the first of our new Indian trains outside the shed with its pantographs up and the lights on the other night so after six months they've finally got one powered up without catching fire.  The word is that one of our tutor drivers at Ipswich will be taking it out for a test run soon but no idea when.

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Guest keio6000

One problem, at least in the U.S., are laws/requirements that the lowest bidder must be given the contract, regardless of merit.  Plus public officials tend to be corrupt.

 

utter nonsense.  you've never been in a corrupt country in your life and your characterization of typical us bidding systems is, again, utter nonsense.

Edited by keio6000

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kvp

The more than 60-80% made in the US rules are imho good. The biggest problem is not who is the cheapest but is there anyone at all who could build it?

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Jace

The more than 60-80% made in the US rules are imho good. The biggest problem is not who is the cheapest but is there anyone at all who could build it?

I work a lot with those rules so I've gotten to see the pluses and minuses. In my opinion they're not good and, as Bikkuri points out, the low bid process doesn't help. The 60-70% US content protects parts suppliers - the few that are set up here get to charge high prices no matter who wins the contract. That means that every carbuilder bidding on a job has a large portion of their costs both equal and fixed. The remaining costs (risk, assembly labor and engineering) are the only variables. To win the contract on a low bid you have to bend the rules in your favor, be lucky enough to bid on a job no one else wants (and with that higher risk), minimize your development costs and/or price it with very little risk built in. That we get poor quality trains and/or late delivery shouldn't be a big surprise.

 

Getting rid of the domestic content requirement may help in the short term by giving the carbuilders more leverage in negotiating with suppliers but over time these costs will tend to level out too. Labor costs for building the car would become more important so production would shift away from the US for sure. All of this would favor the lower cost supplier, quality would likely remain poor.

 

Europe at least has generally shifted towards awarding contracts based on life cycle costs rather than strictly the initial capital costs. Stadler in particular has benefited from this approach - how else could they afford to build in Switzerland! Far better quality results if the carbuilder plans on staying in the market for the long term.

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Nick_Burman

Stadler in particular has benefited from this approach - how else could they afford to build in Switzerland!

 

By sending a lot of their parts manufacturing to plants in Poland and Hungary...

 

Cheers NB

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kvp

Actually most parts, including final assembly. This is also true for many german car brands. On the other hand, the hungarian rules for 60-80% domestic parts could be kept. Building in east Europe is like moving production to New Mexico. You are still in the US and all the regulations apply.

 

The life cycle cost based orders in the EU are true, including maintenance. Also by requiring continued support for the trains means you'll never run out of spare parts for the first two or three dozen years. Also standardising on a single type means it's possible to part out old or damaged sets to keep the remaining ones running until you are left with a single museum set.

 

The JR East strategy to effectively recycle trains after 20 years and make new ones is also good, but requires a train operator run factory/maintenance center to be profitable. It also constantly gives the company the latest technology.

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Pashina12

During my time in China I made a general observation that much like Soviet-made goods, theirs are very hit and miss... sometimes rubbish from brand new, other times fantastic.

 

As for domestic production, I don't even know about that. Used to be that we made great, high quality stuff here, seems like not so much anymore. The locally-built Bombardier trainsets for Skytrain (think, like the El in Chicago, except without drivers) are kinda... well I wouldn't say good, but they don't compare to the ones we got from Hyundai Rotem. Whereas I'm sure the Royal Hudsons and Selkirks could still manage regular service, if not for other considerations. There's a steeplecab electric working for Edmonton transit... it's over 100 years old now.

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