Train builder cuts pay over high failure rate

By Zhang Han Source:Global Times Published: 2019/7/4 23:08:41

Workers check a CR200J train at the China Railway Shanghai Group Co., ltd. in Shanghai, east China, January 6, 2019. The CR200J train, with a centralized power system that runs 160-km-per-hour, will be put into use before the Spring Festival travel rush in 2019. Photo: Xinhua

A subsidiary of China's train manufacturer CRRC Corporation Limited in Northeast China reportedly has cut employees' salaries by 20 percent as punishment following reports of a 91-percent failure rate of CR200J Fuxing trains they produced.

A failure refers to a malfunction which causes the train to stop. The maintenance department or manufacturer will be accountable for the failures, according to a China Business Journal report on Wednesday.

Most of the failures happened in engines. According to an anonymous CRRC employee, CRRC Dalian in Liaoning Province produced 23 engines for CR200J trains as of June 1, and 21 of them have failed during service, the China Business Journal reported Wednesday. 

The quality problem of CRRC Dalian products  has had an impact on repeat orders, the anonymous employee said, noting that CRRC Dalian has launched a campaign to deal with the problem, starting with a 20 percent cut in employees' salaries. 

Another insider close to CRRC Dalian told the China Business Journal that the salary cut is aimed at changing the employees' work attitude to realize the seriousness of the problem.

The movement came after the China Railway group required the company to solve the quality problem, given the high failure rate. The average number of engine failures per one million kilometers in all China Railway trains in 2018 was 0.97, according to the report.

The CR200J Fuxing trains are different from the Fuxing high-speed trains. The top speed of the former is 160 kilometers per hour while that of the latter is 350 kilometers per hour. The CR200J trains are viewed as an updated version of standard trains in China and are supposed to replace most the standard trains in the future. 

An employee of the CRRC Zhuzhou subsidiary who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Thursday that production techniques for the CR200J trains are not difficult compared to those of the Fuxing high-speed trains. The high failure rate is more likely a result of negligent work attitude. 

Failures also happened to two CR200J engines produced by the Zhuzhou subsidiary, which also produced 23 such trains, the insider said, noting that such a rate is within the normal range.

The two companies started to produce the CR200J engines for the China Railway group in December 2018. The CRRC Zhuzhou employee said the company usually fines them 1,000 yuan ($145) for each failure. More serious fines, even demotions and suspensions, are possible if the failure results in accidents.

China has more than 100,000 kilometers of regular railways as of the end of 2018, the Xinhua News Agency reported.


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