Hong Kong’s transit railway system, Mass Transit Railway (MTR), believes that there are lessons to be learnt from Factwire’s expose of Singapore’s public transport operator, SMRT, returning 26 defective trains to its manufacturers in China. MTR’s sources told South China Morning Post (SCMP) that it is now considering including bidders’ records in future tenders to allow more stringent evaluation.
Dr Jacob Kam Chak-pui, MTR Corp’s managing director, also stressed to the publication that unlike aluminium alloy used for the body of the trains it produced for Singapore, China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) Sifang would use stainless steel material for the bodies of the trains MTR is procuring.
The Hong Kong rail operator also said that it will be more stringent in selecting the supplier and also enhance its inspection, metallurgical analysis and tests to ensure quality.
MTR’s Chairman, Professor Frederick Ma Si-hang, in speaking to the media also said that the cabins of the trains procured by MTR will be made of steel and not aluminium. He further stressed that its representatives will be sent to CRRC Sifang’s factory to supervise the manufacturing process to ensure that quality control is adhered to.
Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan meanwhile, reiterated that the cracks were a routine matter spun into a controversy.
“We are caught in a crossfire and there are factions in Hong Kong who wanted to cause some difficulties for mainland China,” he said.
Adding, “I have no inside information on whether that is true or not, but it’s possible.”