Across the globe there are roughly 156 metro systems in operation, and roughly one third of these networks are located in Asia. In fact, SmartRail World reported that in China metro systems have and continue to experience significant passenger growth. Shanghai Metro has seen its ridership increase by 25%, it has also been recorded as the world’s longest metro line, with its tracks spanning 548km in length. Unsurprisingly, due to its growing passenger numbers, and sheer length, Shanghai’s Metro requires constant maintenance and upgrades. In fact, only last week a €46 million contract was awarded to Alstom to carry out some of these upgrades.
The contract was awarded by Shanghai Shentong, the metro operating group in charge of Shanghai Metro. The contract, awarded to Alstom and worth €46 million, includes the modernisation of 68 metro. The cars are currently in service on metro line 5, and were originally supplied by Alstom when line 5 opened back in 2003.
The line currently consists of 11 stations, 17.2km of track and connects the Fengxian District with the Minhang District. The second aspect of the contract, the supply of traction and train control management systems for 198 new will service the old line, as well as its extension, due to open at the end of 2017.
To bring the project to completion Alstom will work alongside their Chinese joint venture, SATCO (Shanghai Alstom Transport Co. Ltd.) on the modernisation of the existing 68 cars. Adapting them to the new signalling system being implemented across the line will ensure the reliability and safety of the cars. The traction systems for the 198 new cars included in the contract will then be manufactured by Alstom’s joint venture SATEE (Shanghai Alstom Transport Electrical Equipment Co. Ltd.).
Ling Fang, Managing Director of China & East Asia of Alstom has argued that Alstom’s latest contract in Shanghai will help strengthen their position in the Chinese market. Integral to their winning the contract, was their proven track record and experience in the region. Indeed, since 1999, Alstom had provided Shanghai with 1,222 metro cars and traction for four of their lines. “Alstom is committed to accompanying its customers in Shanghai and elsewhere in China to offer efficient, reliable and comfortable mobility solutions to passengers,” concluded Fang.
It seems that Fang’s suggestion that Alstom is moving from strength to strength in the country is true, as their contract with Shanghai Shentong further solidifies their place in the region. Shanghai is China’s largest city, and ambitious expansion plans for its metro network have been in place since 2015. By 2017 we will see the completion of Alstom’s €46 million contract on the Shanghai’s metro line.
The 68 cars and traction systems are just one project in a long list in this exciting phase of growth in the region. Shanghai Metro, already the longest system in the world and one of the busiest, symbolises the importance of public transport in this day and age. As China’s population, and indeed populations across the globe, continue to increase, so too will passenger numbers and so too will the need to continue expanding and modernising.
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