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Boston to get ‘Made in China’ subway trains

Zhong Nan, Zou Shuo and Liu Mingtai
Updated: Oct 17,2017 7:30 AM     China Daily

A subway train manufactured for Boston Subway’s new Orange Line is seen on Oct 16 in Changchun, Jilin province.[Photo/Xinhua]

The first batch of subway trains manufactured by China for Boston Subway’s new Orange Line is expected to be shipped to the city in December, its manufacturer said on Oct 16.

State-owned train maker-CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles Co, a subsidiary of China Railway Rolling Stock Corp, said this is the first time that a Chinese company is exporting its subway trains to the United States with complete Chinese intellectual property.

The stainless-steel subway trains can be operated at 102 kilometers per hour and have a service life of 30 years. The Chinese company will manufacture 152 railcars for the city’s Orange Line and 132 cars for the Red Line to replace the cars now in service, which were built by Hawker Siddeley Canada between 1979 and 1981.

Jia Bo, vice-president of CRRC MA Corp, the group’s subsidiary in the US, said China’s rail vehicle product makers are no longer winning deals just with lower prices, but also with advanced technology standards and efficient after-sales services.

The vehicle structural strength, safety control and quality management system of these trains conform to US standards. It is also the first time that all systems of the entire vehicle comply with US requirements and standards.

The Chinese firm has implemented more than 120 standards required by different US government branches and civil associations, including the US Environmental Protection Agency, Americans with Disabilities Act and the Public Transportation Safety Act of Massachusetts.

“These standards can ensure the safety of passengers when two six-carriage subways train collide at a speed of 40 kilometers per hour,” said Hong Haifeng, a technical manager at CRRC Changchun.

He said building subway cars with less weight was a key factor in the company’s contract win.

In terms of structural design, material selection and space optimization, the company has taken 80 measures to reduce the weight of the vehicle by 1.8 metric tons to 33 tons, which has advantages over heavy rail transit vehicles made by US companies.

CRRC Changchun will also provide subway trains for Los Angeles and for Melbourne, Australia.

Zhao Ying, a researcher at the Institute of Industrial Economics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, said in the global context, China’s high-speed trains come at competitive prices.

“China’s bullet trains can also run in various climates, ranging from tropical to alpine, as well as across various geological conditions, which is definitely suitable for operation in big countries such as the US and Canada,” he said.

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