CHINA: MTR Corp announced on September 23 that it was shortly expecting to take delivery by sea of the first of nine high speed trainsets being supplied by CRRC Qingdao Sifang to operate from Kowloon to Shenzhen and Guangzhou on the Express Rail Link.

Prior to shipment from Qingdao, the first set has undergone extensive factory testing, with ‘stringent standards on safety and quality control’ enforced throughout the design and manufacturing stages, according to MTR. ‘During train production, MTR staff members have been stationed at the factory to closely monitor the production process including manufacturing, assembly and testing procedures’, said MTR Projects Director Dr Philco Wong.

Dynamic testing was undertaken on high speed infrastructure between Shanghai and Kunming, with over 5 000 km accumulated during test runs.

Upon the arrival in Hong Kong, the first trainset will be delivered to Shek Kong stabling sidings before undergoing static and low-speed dynamic tests. These will be followed by dynamic testing on the 16 km pilot section of XRL between the emergency rescue siding at Shek Kong and the ventilation building at Mongkok West.

Based on the CRH380A design, each XRL trainsets has eight cars and weighs 408 tonnes. There are seats for 579 passengers, plus two wheelchair spaces, and maximum speed is 350 km/h.

MTR reports that the XRL project ‘is progressing as planned’ and is now around 82% complete. The corporation says that it is ‘making every endeavour’ to achieve the target of delivering XRL for passenger service in Quarter 3 of 2018.