China recalls 54 high-speed trains amid safety overhaul

Updated: 2011-08-12 13:40


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BEIJING - China CNR Corp Ltd (CNR) will recall 54 high-speed trains used on the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed railway over safety concerns, the company said in a statement released on Friday.

The Shanghai-listed train manufacturer said in the statement posted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange's website that it has asked the Ministry of Railways for approval to recall 54 of its high-speed CRH 380BL trains.

The Beijing-based company previously decided to suspend the delivery of its CRH 380BL trains, as the company has stated that the trains have flaws in their automatic braking systems.

The trains were assembled by the company's two subsidiaries, Changchun Railway Vehicles Co Ltd in northeast China's Jilin Province and Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co Ltd in north China's Hebei Province.

"The trains are designed to automatically slow down or halt when quality problems occur to ensure safety. They will also send information to the control center and other trains on the tracks," said Zhao Minghua, vice-president of Changchun Railway Vehicles Co Ltd.

A spokesman for the CNR blamed quality defects in outsourced parts and components for the problems, without elaborating where the parts and components came from.

The spokesman also said the company will speed up an overhaul of its products in cooperation with its suppliers in order to put the trains back on the country's railways.

The company's CRH 380BL trains were built based on technology used in Siemens CRH3 trains.

The company said it will share the costs of the recall with its suppliers.

The Ministry of Railways on Thursday unveiled a new plan to slow down the operational speeds of the country's high-speed trains.

The ministry also cut the number of high-speed trains running daily between Beijing and Shanghai to 66, effective as of August 16.

The State Council, or China's Cabinet, on Wednesday ordered increased safety checks for the country's high-speed railways in response to public complaints about railway safety.

The two trains involved in last month's collision near the city of Wenzhou in east China's Zhejiang Province were not assembled by CNR, but by two subsidiaries of CSR Corp, Ltd, another Chinese train manufacturer.

The State Council also decided to suspend the approval of new railway construction projects for the time being.