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Metro train builder eyes up Malaysian sale

Posted: 04/18/2012 6:00 am

Trains operating on Guangzhou Metro’s Line 3 from Airport South to Panyu Square can stand out among others: made in Guangzhou and used in Guangzhou. The company behind it hopes to export straight from the city’s factory floor to as far as Malaysia, where Kuala Lumpur is currently constructing their new metro system.

A brand new Guangzhou Metro Line 3 train undergoing a final fit-out before testing

Officials confirmed they are in talks with Malaysia about possibly purchasing Guangzhou-made rolling stock. The move has signaled a shift away from foreign-made to home-grown manufacturing after the Guangzhou Metro Corporation, operators of the network, took a minority stake in Guangzhou CSR Rail Transit Equipment Co. (CSR), a joint venture with Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co. to drive infrastructure costs down.

It’s all change, as previous foreign beneficiaries of metro investment included Germany’s Siemens and Canadian-based Bombardier Transportation.

According to Guangzhou CSR’s official figures, the cost of manufacturing has halved from around 70 million RMB per train, making their product commercially competitive. So, in a number of years from now, trains made and used for the city may find its way around the world – but first, sell on to the rest of south China.

Additional reporting by Katy Gillett

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