China: A nine-car train for the Line 1 of the Mexico City Metro was produced at the manufacturer’s site in Zhuzhou. This is the first CRRC metro rolling stock equipped with rubber-tired wheels. This solution should allow to overcome steep slopes, as well as reduce the noise level during operation.
The train bogie is equipped with large rubber wheels and small for guiding. In addition, the rolling stock is also equipped with traditional steel wheels for use in case of emergency. It is worth noting that at the moment all trains running in the Mexico City metro (more than 2,000 cars) are running on tires. The train is declared to accommodate 2,200 people and to reach a max speed of 80 km/h. Its length is 150.9 m, width – 2.5 m.
Interior of a CRRC metro train for Mexico City. Source: n.sinaimg.cn
Deliveries are carried out as part of a $1.6 bln USD tender won at the end of 2020 by a consortium with the participation of CRRC. This project includes the modernization of the Line 1, its maintenance for 20 years, as well as the supply of 30 trains (later the volume was reduced to 29 cars) and signaling systems. The offer of the consortium with the participation of CRRC was 27% lower than that of the competitor – another consortium with the participation of CAF: $1.6 bln against $2.3 bln, respectively. The rolling stock is to be delivered in 2023.
The manufacturer notes that the remaining 28 trains will be 65% made in China, and the final assembly, which involves 35% localization, will be arranged at a new plant in Queretaro, Mexico. Guillermo Aguilera, CEO of Mexico City metro operator STCM, said 150 Mexican technicians were trained specifically to assemble and complete trains.
The undercarriage of a CRRC metro train for Mexico City. Source: chinanews.com
Previously, CRRC had difficulty obtaining orders in the Mexican market due to a lack of manufacturing capacity in the country. Plans to build a site in Queretaro became known in May 2021. CRRC expects that the production site will be able to fulfill orders not only for the Mexican market, but for the whole of Latin America.
The first contract for the supply of rolling stock to the country was received by CRRC in 2019. It included an order for 26 two-car trains with an option for another 5 cars for the metro in the Mexican city of Monterrey. The first trains produced at the plant in Zhuzhou were delivered in the summer of 2020, and from February 2021 they were put into operation.