Hairline Cracks Found in 11 Light-Rail Trains, SBS Transit Says

(Bloomberg) -- Hairline cracks were discovered on 11 light-rail transit trains earlier this year and they were immediately withdrawn from passenger service as a precaution, Singapore’s SBS Transit said.

The cracks were discovered on the bogie frames of the vehicles during a fleetwide inspection in July, the company said in a statement Friday, adding they did not compromise its weight-bearing property. The trains had been in operation since the Sengkang and Punggol LRT service started in 2003, it said.

In July, fellow Singapore metro operator SMRT said 26 trains delivered in 2013 by manufacturers Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. and CSR Qingdao Sifang Co. had cracks in the structure connecting the car body and the bogie. The trains are scheduled to be repaired by 2023.

Six of the SBS trains have now been restored and returned to service, while the remaining five are expected to be reinstated by mid-October, the company said. LRT services have not been affected by the withdrawal, said SBS, as there are 57 trains in the Sengkang-Punggol fleet and a maximum of 36 trains are deployed at a time.

SBS said it had sent a sample of the affected bogie frame to the manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. in Japan to determine the cause of the cracks. The company will work with Mitsubishi Heavy and the Land Transport Authority to redesign, strengthen and replace the bogie frame structures on all its LRT trains, with the manufacturer bearing all replacement costs, it said.