LTA (Land Transport Authority) said that the entire first batch of US-made trains which arrived here in 1999 also had cracks due to "normal wear and tear", and 12 of them had been fixed here in Singapore.
LTA had earlier confessed in its press release that 26 out of 35 China-made trains which has been delivered to the country had hairline cracks after FactWire, an independent news agency in Hong Kong reported that defective trains from a China manufacturer were secretly transported back to China for repairs. Nearly 75 percent of the batch were defected despite the fact that the trains has been used only for 3 short years. The whole defected trains were being shipped back to China to have their aluminium bodies recast.
SMRT trains managing director Lee Ling Wee said the cracks were discovered "during a routine assessment by Bombardier in 2015". He said that LTA also examined the cracks and the trains are considered "safe for passengers service".
"Cracks may develop over time after years of operations," the LTA said. It added that the defects "are not safety-critical". Each crack measured "no more than 12cm", and they were found on the "lateral beams of the underframe". The impurities in the alumunium used to cast the chasis were found to be the cause of the defects.
Unlike those trains from China, the defected US-made trains have been fixed here by SMRT (Singapore Mass Rapid Transit). It has fixed 12 of the defected trains using welding methods. While the remaining seven have yet to be repaired because they have less serious damage.
Bukit Panjang LRT system is a light rail system that was first opened in 6 November 1999 and 7.8 km in total length. It has 32 trains, 19 trains from the first batch (1999) and 13 trains were being added recently in 2014. This line has been the most problematic rail system here since it has been beset with technical problems from day one, despite the facts that many efforts to improve the system have been made.
The first batch of the trains were made by Adtranz (ABB Daimler - Benz Transportation). Then in 2001, Canada's Bombardier took over the manufacturing which took place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.