The Taiwan Railway Administration (TRA) yesterday said it would strictly regulate the quality of train wheels, adding that it followed due procedure when purchasing wheels from Maanshan Iron & Steel.
The remarks came in response to an article published yesterday in Next Magazine that said train wheels manufactured by the Chinese steel firm had been found to have cracks.
Saying that the problem caused China’s Ministry of Railways to question the quality of Maanshan’s products and issue warnings, Next Magazine reported that the TRA has recently purchased a batch of train wheels manufactured by Maanshan.
In response, the nation’s largest railway system said in an official statement yesterday that it cannot limit the country of origin to certain countries based on the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA).
The TRA said it followed regulations to open the bid for the train wheel replacement contract for EMU500-model trains, which was won by Taiwan’s Geeten Enterprise Co in August.
When bidding for the contract, Geeten provided documentation showing that the quality of the train wheels produced by Maanshan had been certified by the Association of American Railroads (AAR), which was valid from last year through 2013, it said.
According to the TRA, the manufacturer must enclose a detailed diagram of the wheel and an inspection certificate issued by a Class-A notary public before it turns in the final products. During the manufacturing process, the manufacturer is obligated to submit a monthly -quality-control report to the TRA, which must be certified by a Class-A notary public as well.
The TRA stressed that the contractor has yet to deliver the train wheels, adding that it would closely examine the monthly quality--control reports and strictly regulate the quality of train wheels to ensure operational safety.
In other news, the TRA yesterday presented to the public three new lunchboxes that cater to health-conscious consumers.
The TRA said the menus of three new lunchboxes — two for meat and fish eaters and one for lacto-ovo-vegetarians — were designed by the dieticians at the Mackay Memorial Hospital.
The lunchboxes feature rosemary--flavored chicken drumsticks and lemongrass-flavored mackerel. The white rice and sweet potato in the lunchbox has been replaced by brown rice and taro, the TRA added. The lunchboxes can be purchased at TRA train stations in Songshan, Taipei, Taichung, Kaohsiung and New Zuoying stations as well as high-speed rail stations in Taichung and Zuoying.