Some backstory: The C151 (oldest rolling stock on the North-South East-West Lines) trains are approaching 30 years of age, and LTA has opened up bidding for trains to replace the existing trains on the NSEWL. The new trains will be called CR151.
All of this is all fine and dandy, until you realise that “Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd., CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co. Ltd., Kawasaki Heavy Industries (Singapore) Pte Ltd. and Singapore CRRC Sifang Heavy Vehicles Service Pte. Ltd. Consortium” is bidding for the CR151 contract.
You may be asking “What’s wrong with this?”. Well, in Singapore, CSR Sifang/CRRC Sifang trains have been known to cause many issues. Not only that, the CRRC Sifang China made trains also have a whole other host of problems, such as battery boxes busting, and faulty STARiS displays (the blinking LED line maps you see), among others. SMRT has even suspected that they were the cause of the major train disruptions in 2011.
With this in mind, you would think that LTA would never choose Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CRRC Sifang again. That’s where you’re wrong!. LTA has picked the consortium not once, but three more times even after knowing about the faults. That’s for the C151B, C151C and CT251 contracts. It is more than likely that they will pick Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CRRC Sifang again.
Let’s look at the other manufacturers. Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles has never had any record in Singapore. Hyundai Rotem has done the refurbishment of the C151 trains. Both Alstom and Bombardier have built trains for MRT lines in Singapore. Alstom for the North-East and Circle Lines and Bombardier for the Downtown Line. Both have created fewer (reported) faults than the Kawasaki Heavy Industries and CRRC Sifang trains. As you can see, Alstom has the best track record in Singapore.
“Where do I come in?” Well, with enough support, we may be able to change LTA’s mind to pick Alstom for the CR151 contract. Remember, CR151 will supply 66 new trains for the MRT, which makes up 30% of the NSEWL. You can start by posting to LTA’s Facebook page saying that you do not wish to have CRRC Sifang picked for contract CR151. You can also get the hashtag #TeamAlstom trending on social media. Lastly, you can sign the change.org petition here!
Thanks for reading this and have a great day ahead!