Engine Drivers boycotting Chinese made train carriages : Chinese company responds

February 7, 2021 at 2:07 AM

China has rejected claims that Chinese-made railway carriages pose a threat to passengers in Sri Lanka.

In an email to Colombo Gazette, the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) said that the carriages given to Sri Lanka have been successfully operating for over 12 years.

CMC said that it is willing to offer their services in upgrading the carriages and even entering into a maintenance contract.

Engine drivers had last week decided to boycott operating trains with railway carriages made in China.

The Locomotive Engine Operators’ Union (LEOU) Secretary Indika Dodangoda said that railway carriages made in China pose a threat to the safety of the passengers.

He said that when engine drivers put the brakes on the engine, railway carriages made in China continue for a fair distance before coming to a halt.

“We would like to contradict the statement made by the Locomotive Engine Operators Union (LEOU) secretary that Chinese-made railway carriages pose a threat to passengers. This statement is not based on fact and is highly defamatory towards Chinese manufacturers,” CMC said in an email to Colombo Gazette.

As per a commercial contract signed between China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC) and Sri Lanka Railways in 2007, 100 railway carriages were manufactured and delivered in 2008.

CMC maintenance was provided through the warranty period which expired in 2011, after which they were handed over to Sri Lanka Railways for normal operation

“CMC was not responsible for the maintenance of these carriages after the period of warranty and without proper maintenance, the carriages have aged and are in a state of decay. After 12 years of operation the brake system, coupling buffer device and suspensions urgently need overhaul and repair. We are sure you would agree that machines cannot run indefinitely without proper maintenance and replacing spare parts is a necessity for safe operation,” CMC said.

CMC said that it has fulfilled their contractual obligations by providing carriages manufactured to the highest quality standards.

“These carriages have had a successful run for over 12 years, but proper maintenance and upgrading is necessary for safe running. The same carriages operate in China and they run smoothly with no malfunctioning because they are properly checked and maintained. Therefore, saying that China has provided faulty machinery that poses a threat to passengers is completely unfounded and seriously damaging to the reputation of Chinese manufacturers,” CMC said.

CMC said that it has a longstanding and cordial association with Sri Lanka Railways for several years and do not wish for these false allegations by LEOU to jeopardise that. (Easwaran Rutnam/Colombo Gazette)