They won’t carry their first passengers until at least 2019 but the first four trains of Macau’s new Light Rail Transit (LRT) fleet arrived on Sunday following a week-long voyage from Japan.
Joined by two dedicated maintenance vehicles, the trains are destined for LRT’s Ocean Station in Taipa where they will undergo a series of tests to prepare them for service, according to an announcement by Macau’s Transportation Infrastructure Office (GIT). The remaining four sections of the trains’ compartments will arrive next week.
Despite a series of delays and a three-fold increase in costs since construction began in 2011, the light rail is considered a vital addition to Macau’s tourism infrastructure and the missing link connecting IRs on the Cotai Strip.
In a separate announcement, the GIT said it had received confirmation from manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries that none of the materials used to build the trains came from Kobe Steel. The Japanese steelmaker admitted earlier this month to faking data about the quality of its products.
“The Transport Office has stressed that the train must pass a series of rigorous tests to ensure that the structural performance of the train meets international standards before it is put into service,” the GIT added. “The safety of the train will also be reviewed and verified by an independent third party.”