Image credits: Mariel Rodriguez
News Article

CRRC to Modernize Mexico City’s Metro Line 1

By Paloma Duran | Tue, 12/01/2020 - 11:35

The company CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive, a subsidiary of China Railways, won a tender of US$1.6 billion to modernize Mexico City’s Metro Line 1, reported EN24.

The Mexico City government announced details related to an international public tender presented in mid-June to modernize the metro system. The objective is to secure the future of Line 1 for the next 20 years. For this project, the government has assigned a MX$39 billion (US$1.95 billion) budget, reports MBN.

Mexico City’s Metro is one of the largest in North America. Its 12 lines cover 226km and carry more than 5 million passengers every day. Line 1 has 18km and 20 stations and runs from Pantitlan to Observatorio, reported EN24.

The Collective Transport System Director, Florencia Serranía, said last year the government celebrated Metro’s 50-year anniversary, and indicated that a modernization in Line 1 was needed. Serranía said this is more complicated than just building a new line, since it has to be done while the system is still operating, reported MBN.

The government reported that the winner of the tender would acquire the operation of Line 1 starting in 2021 and ending in 2039. The contract aimed to include the maintenance of 30 trains that will begin operations in 2023. The government’s goal is to improve mobility of millions of people, reported by MBN.

In October, SCT selected the Spanish railway supplier Construction and Railway Auxiliary (CAF) and the Chinese CRRC as the two finalists to modernize Mexico City’s Metro Line 1. This week, CRRC won after CAF withdrew because it could not present a lower-priced proposal, reported Archyde.

CRRC partnered with CRCC Zhuzhou Locomotive and presented a proposal of MX$32.2 billion (US$1.6 billion). Meanwhile, the Spanish company CAF included the participation of CAF Investment Projects, Brownfield SPV IV and Mexican AEI Infrastructure, which together proposed MX$46.7 billion (US$2.3 billion), reported Archyde.

Miguel Angel Monroy, Deputy Director General of SCT, said the new contract aims to achieve an integral modernization of trains, the control system and the tracks of Metro’s Line 1. Monroy added that effectiveness, efficiency, impartiality, transparency, honesty and the result of the qualitative analysis of both proposals were the criteria for granting the new contract, reported En24.

This will last 19 years, divided in four years for implementation and 15 for the maintenance of the project. CRRC will supply 30 pneumatic running gear, ballast and track change systems, a signaling system, construction of a train communication system and the replacement of the tunnel system and ventilation, reported Archyde.

CRRC has experience in rail construction and said it is working with the French company Thales, which is specialist in carrying out technology projects like urban security systems. However, unlike the Spanish company, CRRC has no experience in pneumatic train projects, reported Archyde.

It is expected that the new 36 trains will reduce waiting times from 120s to 100s. As a result, the travel time of the line will be reduced by 12 minutes. In addition, user capacity of each train will increase by 35 percent, electricity consumption will decrease by 35 percent and infrastructure will be strengthened, increasing the system’s efficiency, reported El Heraldo.


The data used in this article was sourced from:  
El Heraldo, MBN, Archyde, EN24
Photo by:   Mariel Rodriguez
Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst