Kawasaki Heavy Industries & CSR Qingdao Sifang C151A
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|Kawasaki Heavy Industries & CSR Sifang (KSF) C151A|
A C151A train approaching Expo towards Tanah Merah.
|In service||27 May 2011–present|
|Manufacturer||Kawasaki Heavy Industries
|Built at||Qingdao, Shandong, China|
|Number built||210 vehicles (35 trainsets)|
|Formation||6 per train set
|Capacity||296 seated; 1,624 standing; 2 PIW spaces|
|Operator(s)||SMRT Trains (SMRT Corporation)|
|Depot(s)||Bishan, Changi, Tuas, Ulu Pandan and East Coast (future)|
|Line(s) served||East West Line, North South Line|
|Car body construction||Aluminium-alloy double-skinned construction|
|Car length||23.5 m|
|Doors||1450mm, 8 per car|
|Maximum speed||90 km/h (56 mph) (design)
80 km/h (50 mph) (service)
|Weight||226.8t /335.9 t (laden)|
Output 415 kVA x2
|Traction motors||Self-Ventilated Three-Phase AC Induction Motor (Fuji Electric)
140 kW (190 hp) 550V 193A 1760 r/min
|Power output||2.24 MW (3,000 hp)|
|Deceleration||1.2 m/s2 (service)
1.3 m/s2 (emergency)
|Auxiliaries||IGBT–VVVF Auxiliary Inverter with Battery Charger
80 kVA–16 kW
|Electric system(s)||750 V DC|
|Current collection method||Third rail|
|Braking system(s)||Regenerative Braking, Resistor Braking, Air Brakes|
|Safety system(s)||Current: Westinghouse Brake and Signal Company Ltd fixed block ATC with subsystems of ATO GOA 2 (STO), ATP and ATS
Future: Thales SelTrac® Moving Block CBTC ATC with subsystems of ATO GOA 3 (DTO), ATP, NetTrac ATS, CBI
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
The Kawasaki Heavy Industries & CSR Sifang C151A, sometimes abbreviated to C151A or KSF C151A is the fourth generation Electric multiple unit rolling stock in operation on the North South and East West Lines of Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system. This additional batch of trains, together with a new track and platform at Jurong East Interchange, has increased the capacity of both lines by 15%.
The initial contract of 22 trainsets of 6 cars each was awarded to Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang by the Land Transport Authority. In 2013, a further order of 13 trainsets under Batch 2 was placed and as of 2014, all 35 trainsets have been officially put into revenue service.
On 5 July 2016, an investigative news report from FactWire alleged that C151A trainsets were being shipped back to Qingdao for rectification due to multiple defects, including an exploding battery and cracks on trains, but without notifying the public beforehand. The Singapore government acknowledged the trains were returned for rectification works, and have since published official statements to address FactWire's specific allegations.
- 1 History
- 2 Tender
- 3 Equipment
- 4 Design
- 5 Train Formation
- 6 Line Disruptions
- 7 Operational Problems
- 8 References
- 9 External links
On May 6, 2009, the Land Transport Authority announced that Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CSR Sifang had won over Hyundai Rotem, Bombardier Transportation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to secure the contract at a cost of S$369 million, despite Hyundai Rotem offering the lowest bid at S$323 million for the order of 22 trainsets under Batch 1. CSR Sifang handled the manufacturing and testing of the rolling stock, while Kawasaki oversaw the project and design. The C151A contract was the first successful joint venture between these two companies in the international market.
The tender for trains under the contract turnkey 151A was closed in January 2009. The tender results were published in May 2009.
|S/N||Name of tenderer||Amount ($S)|
|1||Bombardier (Singapore) Pte Ltd and Bombardier Transportation GmbH Consortium||373,327,788.00|
|2||Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd. / Kawasaki Heavy Industries(Singapore) Pte Ltd /CSR Qingdao Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co. Ltd Consortium||368,997,888.00|
|4||Hyundai Rotem Company||322,729,548.00|
Main Propulsion Controller
The C151A trains is the third commuter type Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) made in Japan to feature electric systems fully manufactured by Fuji Electric. Propulsion is controlled by VVVF Inverter with 2-level IGBT semiconductor controller, rated at 415 kVA. Each inverter unit controls two motors on one bogie (1C2M), and one motor car features two of such units. Motors are three-phrase AC induction type, model MLR109, with a maximum output of 140 kW.
The C151A trains uses the monolink axlebox type bolsterless air spring bogie. There are no major technical differences between a trailer and motor car bogie other than additional electrical components for the latter.
A break from tradition, the C151A trains features auxiliary inverters for its electrical systems on all six cars of the train. Previously, auxiliary inverters were mounted only on motor cars. The VVVF Inverter is controlled by IGBT semiconductors and rated at 80 kVA. A battery charger is built with the inverter and provides 16 kW output.
The C151A trains are similar to the C751B trains in terms of exterior looks, and have an identical propulsion motor sound. The only obvious difference comes from the front and doors of the C151A trains.
- C151A trains have bright yellow LED displays on the front and rear of the train, above the train operator's window, that are meant to show three-digit Train Run Numbers. C751B trains have orange LED displays,
- C151A trains have 'eye bags' on its headlights unlike C751B trains.
- The C151A trains front has a 'smiley face' curve design unlike the C751B trains, which has a straight design.
- The C151A's air-conditioner unit area is unpainted.
- The interior of a C151A has center grab poles that split into three; this is not a feature on C751B trains.
- The interior of a C751B has three thick black lines on the glass panes next to the reserved seats of every coach; this is not a feature on C151A trains.
- Next to every door, the C151A has a center blinking red LED light, while C751Bs have two, side blinking red LEDs.
- The wall of train is glossy white similar to the C751B trains.
- The floor, overhead panels and the placements of the door closing red LED signals are similar to the C151 trains, though the colour scheme is slightly different. The first and last cars have pink seats with the reserved seats in red (the C151 trains, though, have red seats with maroon reserved seats) while the rest of the cars are similar to the C151 trains in terms of the colour scheme of the seats (blue for the 2nd and 5th cars and green for the 3rd and 4th cars) albeit a slightly lighter shade.
- Notable difference of the C151A trains are the thicker grab poles, the curve dark grey aircon ventilator, the different stickers used to depict the fire extinguisher and the side panels with curvy designs on it.
- The train also comes with the STARIS embedded in the door's overhead panels. Since this is the only rolling stock which had STARiS since it left the factory while other rolling stock (excluding the C751A and C830) trains had STARiS installed some time after they commenced revenue service, this is also the first rolling stock in which the STARiS does not protrude out of the door panel and the last rolling stock to be fitted with STARiS Version 1.
|This section does not cite any sources. (July 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
The configuration of a C151A in revenue service is DT-M1-M2-M2-M1-DT
|Cars of C151A|
|car type||Driver Cab||Motor||Collector Shoe||car length||Wheelchair Space|
|DT||✓||✗||✓||23,830||78 ft 2.2 in||✗|
|M1||✗||✓||✓||22,800||74 ft 9.6 in||✗|
|M2||✗||✓||✓||22,800||74 ft 9.6 in||✓|
The car numbers of the trains range from x501 to x570, where x depends on the carriage type. Individual cars are assigned a 4 digit serial number by the rail operator SMRT Trains. A complete six-car trainset consists of an identical twin set of one driving trailer(DT) and two motor cars(M1 & M2) permanently coupled together. For example, set 555/556 consists of carriages 3555, 1555, 2555, 2556, 1556 and 3556.
- The first digit identifies the car number, where the first car has a 3, the second has a 1 & the third has a 2.
- The second digit is always a 5, part of the identification numbers
- The third digit and fourth digit are the train identification numbers. A full length train of 6 cars have 2 different identification numbers, one for the first 3 cars, and the same number plus 1, for the other three.
After the 15 & 17 December disruptions, SMRT suspected that the extra weight from the train might have caused the disruptions. The C151As were temporarily suspended from running the full-day North South Line from January 2012 to November 2013. However, the Committee Of Inquiry (COI) report released to the public on July 4, 2012 concluded no evidence to suggest that 4th generation trains (the C151A trains) were responsible for the incident.
After the suspension of service on 7 July 2015, which was the worst breakdown in SMRT history, SMRT engineers detected arcing problems on one of the C151As, but no evidence was shown that it was the root cause of the service suspension.
On 5 July 2016, a Hong Kong-based non-profit news organization FactWire had broken the news of the C151A trains suffering from multiple defects relating to Chinese-made materials and posted the entire investigative works in Youtube.
List of alleged flaws on C151A
This list compiles the initial response from the authorities are compiled from the first SMRT press release at 5 July 2016, 4:30pm (GMT+8) by SMRT Trains managing director Lee Ling Wee  as well as the first Land Transport Authority press release at an hour after first SMRT's press release. and also the subsequent official position on Singapore government's online FAQ portal 'Factually' which quotes sources from the Facebook page of Land Transport Authority hours after the initial press release.
|No.||Date of issue First appeared||Alleged issues & consequences||Alleged actions taken by the authorities||Initial response from SMRT or Land Transport Authority||Subsequent response by Singapore Government portal 'Factually' ||Additional Notes (Including any subsequent press release from the authorities)|
|1||2011||A C151A battery used for uninterruptible power supply exploded during a repair work but caused no injuries or deaths.||All Chinese made batteries were replaced into German made instead.||No comments||Issue was caused by gases building up in the battery housing cover, causing the cover to fly open. The design for battery housing was since improved to rectify this issue immediately on all affected trains.||The authorities eventually admitted some flaws in the battery housing design, but did not confirm whether the suppliers for the batteries were changed as well as if the batteries installed on other C151A trains were replaced or not.|
|2||Unknown||Tempered-glass repeatedly shattered on its own. One incident occured in 2015 during revenue service without any injuries or death as reported by Straits Times.||No comments||No comments||
Acknowledged the issue happened on 5 of the 26 trains where the cracks were found only on the draughtscreens due to errors during installation process.
|3||15 & 17 December 2011||SMRT suspects that C151A trains are responsible for the twin MRT breakdowns on North South Line during the evening peak hours.||Worst disruptions in entire Singapore MRT history.
Furthermore, according to a CSR Sifang anonymous subcontractor, he claimed to FactWire that SMRT had reduced the deployment of C151A trains and requested payment delay for the extra C151A trains after the breakdowns. As a result, the cash-flow of subcontractor is heavily impacted.
|No comments||Not mentioned||See suspected disruptions by C151A. However, there is no way to independently verify the claim of delaying the payment for undelivered trains.|
|4||2013||Impurities in aluminium bodywork caused the cracks found in structural components, including:
||FactWire alleged the shipment of defective trains is part of a cover-up by both Singapore (SMRT, Land Transport Authority) and the train manufacturers (Kawasaki Heavy Industries & CSR Sifang) as the defective trains are wrapped in a green cover and transported during late night.
Opinions from Railway Experts and Analysts:
Reactions from the Public, SMRT and Land Transport Authority
This incident is a source of public concern among Hong Kongers because the subway company in Hong Kong, MTR have ordered fleets of new train from the same manufacturer CSR Sifang. Hence, the news is quickly reported in other Hong Kong media.
The incident has also created a public uproar in Singapore public, and generated great discussion. Some of these discussions included the criticism of the Land Transport Authority and SMRT for the cover up about the defective trains only until after the foreign press have reported it first while others questioning the quality of these Chinese-made trains.
Land Transport Authority have released more technical details about this incident on 6 July 2016 via Facebook and the media, including the issue was rectified on 5 of the defective 26 trains which confirmed FactWire's initial report, pictures to show and illustrate the hair-line crack and even named LTA has also named the independent third-party assessor, TUV Rheinland who shared the same opinion that the defects are "not safety-critical".
This occurred at the same day where a rumor posted on 4 February 2015 that alleged misconducts of CSR Sifang faking technical data which involved about 70 people from multiple departments since November 2010 for failing to meet the standards set by Kawasaki Heavy Industries had gained traction within the members of public. The rumor was refuted by 7 July 2016 by the train manufacturer  and threatened to take legal actions. The rumor is also confirmed to be complete false by LTA at the same time as well. The link to original rumor was deleted soon after the response from the authorities.[dead link]
The Land Transport Authority had also made another press report on 7 July 2016 stating that "no brackets were added at any time to the underframe" in order to refute what FactWire subsequent report has claimed.
In this report, LTA have also stated that it "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" and gave the consortium the "highest quality score" as the basis for awarded them subsequent train contracts (C151C and CT251) in 2015 despite the defects were discovered since.
Furthermore, on 8 July 2016, the SMRT Trains managing director Lee Ling Wee admitted to the media that the entire fleet of 19 C801 train has also suffered cracks "during a routine assessment by Bombardier in 2015". A spokesman for Land Transport Authority has subsequently provided more details and also assured that the defects are not 'safety-critical'.
This incident has also turned into a political issue as opposition politician Gerald Giam from the Workers Party questioned how the Land Transport Authority gave the consortium the "top quality score", among other statements in his Facebook page.
As a side note, the contract for C151B trains was also awarded to the same consortium in 2012 which was before the LTA and SMRT were officially aware of the cracks in C151A trains during 2013.
Soon after Gerald Giam's post was made public, Workers Party issued a Facebook post citing 5 of their 9 elected MP (Leon Perera, Pritam Singh, Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap, Dennis Tan Lip Fong, Daniel Goh Pei Siong) will be filing a total of 17 different questions to the parliament about this issue.
Criticism of CSR Qingdao Sifang by China Railway Corp
On 9 July 2016, one of the Singapore based alternative media has republished a CaiXin Online article in Chinese published in 2016 March about China Railway Construction Corporation Limited (CRCC, also abbreviated as CRC) blamed the decline of quality standards from the China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC) manufactured trains. According to CRC, 60% of all railway incident in China as well as 90% of all railway disruptions during 2015 can be attributed to CRRC manufactured train did not meet the quality or the maintenance standards and there are 210 instances that caused death or injuries. The equivalent of the English article is also provided by CaiXin Online as well.
CSR Sifang being a subsidiary of CSR Corporation Limited as a rolling stock manufacturer and the fact that CSR Corporation Limited merged with China CNR Corporation to form present day China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRRC), it can be viewed the CRC statement on CRRC is also a criticism of CSR Sifang as well. Therefore, the articles from CaiXin Online  has cast doubts about the Singapore authorities having faith with Chinese rolling stock manufacturer when the Chinese Railway Operator (CRC) has cast doubts on their counterparts.
Official statement from Land Transport Minister
- The reason that this incident was not reported earlier in 2013 is because going public for something that was "not a major event" might have caused unnecessary panic to the layman since any engineers would have known that not all cracks are the same. However, he admitted that sometimes routine matters can be spun out of control, just like in this incident.
- Land Transport Authority would have consulted with Ministry of Transport and go public if this incident happens to be a safety issue OR affected train capacity even if the incident does not affect safety because they need to explain the slowing down on the goal of increasing mass rail transit capacity.
In this case given that only one train is sent for rectification at a time, the train availability is not affected at all since the East West Line and North South Line has a total fleet of 140 trains (As of 2016) while only 124 trains are needed to meet the operational demand.
- He said that the entire train would be removed from service even if just one out of the 6 train cars formed cracks.
- Explained that the reason for Kawasaki-Sifang to win subsequent tenders like CT251 trains for the upcoming (As of 2016) Thomson-East Coast Line is because the consortium showed a high level of responsiveness and strong sense of responsibility in addressing the issue and the authorities are satisfied that the issue was resolved conclusively.
- Explained that a total of 4 tenders including Kawasaki-Sifang out of the 6 planned to assemble their trains in China with Hyundai Rotem and Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles the exceptions who will assemble their trains in South Korea and Spain respectively should they have won the CT251 tender.
Reaction from the Analysts and FactWire after Minister statement
- Senior Transport Correspondent for Straits Times, Christopher Tan published an article on 14 July 2016 in a response to the entire saga. He started with both LTA and the train manufacturer are addressing the flaws head on deserves credit but took an issue with how the authorities communicated with the public over the debacle did little to restore confidence. Specifically the points mentioned were:
- The oldest rolling stock C151 does not have cracks despite nearly 30 years of service and the first batch of trains used in the Singapore's most problematic railway, Bukit Panjang LRT Line showed cracks only after 16 years of service. Therefore, he said that the crack issue surfaced on the C151As are not routine as what minister have said earlier.
- Transport Ministry risks giving the public an impression of taking the issue lightly by comparing the hairline cracks occurred on the trains to those that frequently appear on a newly plastered wall.
- Took issue with the train manufacturer for not showing public remorse because no apology was made while threatening to take legal actions against people who spread the rumors critical of them.
- Engineers knows that impurities in aluminium-alloy is a grave concern in any industry as its durability is certain to be compromised over time. The authorities had earlier admitted that the cause of hair-line cracks in train car body is due to impurities.
- Questioned the authorities were quick to declare that no reviews are necessary despite CSR Sifang was rejected by Massachusetts transport officials due to the technical, manufacturing and quality assurance components of its bid were "unacceptable" in 2014 among other issues surfaced by rival Chinese railway manufacture in the overseas projects as well as the authorities had appeared to downplay the episode.
- On 14 July 2016, FactWire made a Facebook post which regretted the false statements that Singapore minister had made 2 days ago. Specifically, FactWire regrets the minister has suggested that FactWire could be part of politically motivated anti-China factions in Hong Kong and as a result Singapore become a convenient bullet and collateral damage during the press release on 12 July 2016. FactWire also reiterates that it is an entirely crowded funded news agency being independent of any commercial or political interests.
- "Extra metro trains for Singapore". Railway Gazette International. 2009-05-07.
- "Five new trains added to boost capacity of North-South and East-West Lines" (PDF). SMRT Corporation. 2011-05-16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-09-27.
- "Train capacity to rise by up to 50% in 4 years".
- "Both orders for Singapore Subway Train 132 LTA". 29 August 2012. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- "CSR Sifang and Kawasaki Heavy Industries Won the Bid in the Subway Vehicle Project of Singapore". May 13, 2009. Archived from the original on July 23, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
- "Tender Information". 2009-09-02. Archived from the original on September 2, 2009. Retrieved 2016-07-07.
- "REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF INQUIRY INTO THE DISRUPTION OF MRT TRAIN SERVICES ON 15 AND 17 DECEMBER 2011" (PDF). Ministry Of Transport. July 4, 2012. Retrieved July 4, 2012.
- China manufacturer for MTR secretly recalls 35 SMRT subway trains after cracks found (Report). 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
- China manufacturer secretly recalls Singapore MRT subway trains after cracks found (Report). 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
- "26 China-made MRT trains sent back to fix defects". The Straits Times. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "Defects on SMRT trains 'not safety-critical', to be repaired by manufacturer: LTA". Retrieved 2016-07-05.
- Why are MRT trains being shipped back to manufacturer?
- Glass side panel on SMRT train shatters, no one injured (Report). 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
- Glass panel shatters on MRT train (Report). 2012. Retrieved 7 July 2016.
- Thales awarded signalling contracts for Singapore North-South, East-West lines and Tuas West Extension
- The Strange logic of the Ministry of Transport
- "Mainland manufacturer for MTR secretly recalls 35 trains from Singapore due to crack". HKPF. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "LTA: Defects of trains not safety-critical, SMRT: Defects will be repaired by 2023 - The Online Citizen". 2016-07-05. Retrieved 2016-07-06.
- Press release - LTA – We Keep Your World Moving, 6 July 2016 22:06 (GMT+8)
- Defective SMRT trains were still fit and safe for service: LTA - Channel NewsAsia, 6 Jul 2016
- 关于举报中国南车青岛四方机车车辆股份有限公司在四方川崎联合体新加坡地铁C151A项目首列车试制中CR试验表格中数据造假事实 - Sina, 4 February 2015 6:20am (GMT+8)[dead link]
- Whistle-blower alleges CSR Sifang submitted fake test data to LTA - The Independent, 6 July 2016
- Consortium in train controversy breaks silence - Today, 11:41 PM, JULY 7, 2016 (GMT +8)
- Consortium that built MRT trains 'had top score for quality' - The Straits Times, 8 July 2016
- No brackets added: Structural integrity of defective trains unaffected, says LTA - Channel NewsAsia, 7 July 2016
- HK Government Tipped Off About Singapore Subway Trains Crackings A Year Ago, Emails Reveal - FactWire, 5 July 2016
- US-made LRT trains also had cracks - Straits Times, 8 July 2016
- So the vendor's dismal track record can become a point in their favour? - Gerald Giam Facebook page, 8 July 2016 9:35am (GMT+8)
- Parliamentary questions filed from WP about C151A issue - The Workers' Party of Singapore, 8 July 2016 18:17 (GMT+8)
- Even China’s own railway operator condemns CSR Sifang - The Independent SG, 9 July 2016
- 独家|车辆事故数上升 铁总质疑车辆质量 (Exclusive|Rise of Train Car Incident CRCC doubts the quality of train cars) - CaiXin Online, 22 March 2016 08:46am (GMT+8)
- CRC Blames Rise in Problems with Trains on Manufacturer - CaiXin Online, 22 March 2016 19:31 (GMT+8)
- Going public on train cracks could have caused undue panic: Khaw- Channel NewsAsia, 12 July 2016 16:49 (GMT+8)
- TENDER INFORMATION - Land Transport Authority, 28 May 2014
- Nothing routine about MRT cracks - Straits Times, 14 July 2016
- An Open Letter to Singapore’s Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan - FactWire, 14 July 2016
- Train cracks: Routine matter spun into controversy, says Khaw - Today, 12 July 2016 6:15PM (GMT+8)