CRRC subway cars running in Mumbai, New Dehli, Noida & Gurgaon gains reputation: Vikas Sardana, VP/Mumbai Metro-1

NEW DELHI: Metro Line 1 is the only subway track of Mumbai, the financial centre of India. It drives through Mumbai’s information technology center Versova, manufacturing center Ghatkopar, as well as the city’s largest transportation hub Andheri.

All the 16 trains running on the line were produced by China’s CRRC Nanjing Puzhen Co., Ltd. The 16 trains have maintained over 6 million kilometers of safe operation since the metro line came into service in June 2014.

These subway cars have won the trust and praise of the Indians because of the quality and comfort they offer, opening broad space for rail traffic cooperation between China and India.

The Chinese subway cars are made of light-weight stainless steel with fire-resistant silver doors. Each one of them has eight sliding doors that can open wide to offer easy access for wheelchairs. Even when the number of passengers rises sharply at around 5 p.m. every day, these trains are still able to handle the huge capacity.

The interior of the train is clean, bright and spacious. The floor is slip-resistant and the seats are arranged in a longitudinal fashion. The facilities are user-friendly, such as the LCD televisions that broadcast dynamic route maps and entertaining programs for passengers.

The air conditioners could automatically adjust the temperature through sensors installed. The windows are made by double-glazed glasses, blocking outside noises. In addition, the train is also equipped with first-aid supplies, firefighting equipment and communication devices.

Metro Line 1 covers a length of 11.4 kilometers and most of the distance is built on the ground with some part running on bridges. It takes only 24 minutes to travel the distance by train, much less than the 1.5 hours by car and 2 hours by bus.

The 16 trains were the first whole-vehicle rail transit equipment China ever exported to India, said Zhai Weijia, head of the after-sale and warranty department of CRRC Nanjing Puzhen’s Mumbai metro project. In May 2008, the company signed an agreement with the Indian side and in 2010 the first train was shipped to India.

Carrying more than 400,000 people on a daily basis, The Metro Line 1 sees one of the highest passenger densities of any metro lines in the world, according to Indian media. In the first year of operation, the line handled over 92 million passengers, bringing an income of $200 billion. It crossed the landmark of carrying 250 million people on the 957th day of operation, setting a record in unit time capacity among all Indian subway trains.

Mumbai is India’s largest city with a huge population density. Its government placed the city’s hope to relieve traffic congestion on building subways.

Back to 2008, 6 enterprises participated in the bidding of the city’s subway construction, and CRRC was finally chosen by the organizer – India’s Reliance Industries – after beating 5 competitors including Siemens, Bombardier and Alstom.

“Compared with other suppliers, CRRC offered high quality at lower prices, that was why we chose the Chinese manufacturer,” said Vikas Sardana, vice president of Mumbai Metro Line 1.

“Reliance Industries is the first Indian company to use Chinese trains. Some questioned our choice, but facts have proved that these Chinese subway cars are reliable,” he added.

The Chinese trains have won the trust of the Indians with the excellent quality and technologies. So far, the Chinese trains have been operated for more than 6 million kilometers without a single malfunction. The trains report low failure rate and the vehicles and facilities operate smoothly. In the past 4 years, not a single accident rescue has happened.

Zhai disclosed that the trains were delivered in 2010 and put into service in 2014, and the Indian side was amazed at the fact that they experienced no performance reduction after four years of non-operation.

Besides, these trains produced under Chinese standards passed all the tests at one stroke after they were shipped to India, Zhai said.

Now, Chinese trains are running in New Dehli, Noida and Gurgaon, said Vikas, adding that India is a potential market of subway cars and he hopes to deepen cooperation with Chinese companies in this field.