Hong Kong based investigative news agency Factwire on 5 Jul reported that defective trains bought by SMRT earlier were being sent back to Qingdao, China in secret. The Transport Ministry responded to the report in a FAQ manner in its Factually microsite.
In answering its own question, ‘Why transport these trains in the dead of night?’, the Transport Ministry said:
“Our trains are big and massive equipment. They are transported at night, with auxiliary police officers clearing the way ahead, to minimise obstruction and inconvenience to road users. Likewise, new trains that arrive in Singapore are transported on our roads at night.”
Pointing to Land Transport Authority’s (LTA) Tweet on 23 Jul 2014, when 18 new North East Line trains was delivered to Singapore, netizens are asking why these trains were transported from Pasir Panjang Port to the Sengkang Depot in broad daylight.
— LTA (@LTAsg) July 23, 2014
Channel NewsAsia also carried a report titled ‘First of new batch of Circle Line, North East Line trains delivered’, dated 23 Jul 2014. The report said that the trains were delivered to the port on 20 Jul 2014. It is unclear when they were delivered to the port, but it is clear from the pictures in the report that it was loaded on a trailer in broad daylight.
Meanwhile the Japanese=Chinese consortium which manufactured the trains, in a press release has hit out at unverifiable reports accusing it of faking test data for its trains.
A netizen claiming to be an insider had earlier whistle blew on CSR Sifang for doctoring its test data of the C151A train trial. The person blogged about it on Sina.com last year (4 Feb 2015): http://blog.sina.cn/dpool/blog/s/blog_14307caa50102vdd9.html He signed off with the words “请宣传” (please spread the news).
The consortium, consisting of Japanese train-maker Kawasaki Heavy Industries and the Qingdao-based CSR Sifang (KSF), has called such claims “groundless allegation of wrong doing” and said that “KSF accords a high level of integrity when carrying out testing and commissioning works … there are no ways to cover up any non-conformity to the specifications”.
The consortium did not explain why or how the defects could have occurred, but it noted: “KSF confirms that all the content in the LTA press release are true and has no other technical comments to add.”
KSF in its press release maintained that “it has resolved and will resolve all issues satisfactorily”.