Platform of success: Bombardier exhibits new trains

Posted: 27 September 2008 | | No comments yet

Bombardier, the global leader in rail transportation, never fails to create an impact with its biannual display of products at InnoTrans. This year is no exception, with Bombardier exhibiting no less than four new trains, as well as its latest developments in energy-saving technologies. Much excitement has surrounded the unveiling of the Bombardier TALENT 2, […]

Bombardier, the global leader in rail transportation, never fails to create an impact with its biannual display of products at InnoTrans. This year is no exception, with Bombardier exhibiting no less than four new trains, as well as its latest developments in energy-saving technologies.

Much excitement has surrounded the unveiling of the Bombardier TALENT 2, the train developed for regional services in Germany, for which Bombardier received three inaugural orders from DB Regio at the end of 2007. These initial orders for 61 trains form part of a framework agreement for 321 trains concluded in February 2007 – one of the largest orders in the history of Bombardier Transportation. By December 2009, there will be fleets of 2-car and 4-car configurations in revenue services along the Mosel River, as well as between Leipzig and Cottbus. Initial service operation of the 4-car units on Nuremberg’s suburban rail network is scheduled to commence in December 2010.

TALENT 2 differs significantly from its namesake, the original TALENT train, with the only real similarities being pedigree – more than 460 trains of the TALENT family are in service in Germany, Norway, Austria and Canada – and its intended function as a mainstay of regional and commuter services throughout Germany and Central Europe.

Changing the paradigm – TALENT 2 is flexible to meet a wide variety of potential operator requirements

TALENT 2 is the result of several years of consultation, engineering development and research into customer requirements, undertaken by Bombardier, who worked closely with DB, as well as end-user focus groups, to understand their needs and those of other operators in Central Europe.

Bodo Steglich, the Senior Project Director for TALENT 2, explained, “For the first time in our working history with DB, it became necessary to think not just about the operator’s immediate requirements for a designated route, but about a total marketing perspective for the train and a variety of potential end users.”

With an estimated 50% of rail routes to be tendered as franchises by 2015, German railways are becoming increasingly accessible to competition from private operators. This has a major impact on the fleets, with trains operating on specific services for a maximum of 12 to 15 years, and potentially for just six years. Given the 30-year typical lifetime of a train, to optimise use and residual value of the asset, this may require it to be used on four different routes – each with widely differing operating and passenger requirements.

Bodo Steglich elucidates, “The product cycle of a train is now much shorter than its life cycle, thus the modern market requires train concepts with the highest possible flexibility and variability. For us, as a train manufacturer, this has necessitated a fundamentally different approach to vehicle design. In order to meet mobility challenges of the 21st century, we have changed the paradigm – creating a train concept that can be easily modified to meet new challenges, with minimal effort.”

In developing the specification for TALENT 2, the emphasis has been on flexibility and scalability of a modular concept, with the objective of satisfying all regional requirements, from those of frequently stopping S-Bahn services, through to longer distance commuting routes. In addition to catering for different options for vehicle configuration, traction performance and number of entry and egress points, this has influenced interior design i.e. standing versus seated capacity and also levels of comfort and facility provision. Experience was also drawn from Bombardier’s aerospace division where optimisation of space and adaptability are crucial.

Principal variations lie in train configurations, with the option of 2-car to 6-car units, vehicle entrance heights of 598mm or 800mm, one or two sliding plug doors per side, seating layout, location of toilets, options for disabled facilities and the inclusion of multipurpose areas and buffet/catering modules. A further development is the introduction of the latest train control architecture, in the form of Bombardier’s MITRAC TCMS (Train Control Management System), which enables the transfer of information from train to wayside and vice-versa. A further difference of TALENT 2 from the original TALENT is that all major systems are produced in-house, including key propulsion equipment.

The future backbone of regional services in Germany and Central Europe

TALENT 2 is poised to make a major difference to flexible regional services. Vehicles can be adjusted to different voltage systems prevalent in the European rail network (15kv AC, 25kV AC, or 3kV DC). Furthermore, the train fits symbiotically with Bombardier’s ethos in favour of sustainable mobility, with its modular concept being both reusable, and a maximum proportion of recyclable materials.

With a top speed of 160km/h, Bodo Steglich summarises that “TALENT 2 is envisaged to be the future backbone of regional services in Germany and Central Europe, complementing Bombardier’s TRAXX locomotive and double-deck platform, as well as the way forward for train-making technology in central Europe, contributing to flexibility, sustainability and accessibility.”

Making space for more passengers – SPACIUM 3.O6

Another train making a debut at InnoTrans is the Bombardier Spacium 3.O6, a new generation of colourfully extrovert commuter trains for the Ile de France region. Bombardier has a contract to supply up to 372 of its latest custom-made Spacium 3.O6 trains for the ‘Francilien’ services in the Greater Paris region, with deliveries of the first tranche of 172 trains commencing in 2009 and continuing to 2015.

Philippe Ogier, Project Director for Spacium 3.O6 confirms, “The vehicles are predicted to make a major difference to the travelling public, featuring – in addition to aesthetic improvements – many new features. With extra wide bodies (3.O6 metres) for increased capacity, the cars also enable high visibility throughout the train with CCTV for added security, and a comprehensive IP based information and communications system.”

Spacium 3.O6 will operate as 7-car or 8-car units and will accommodate between 800 to 1,000 passengers per train.
Reliability targets for the new trains are set as five times better than for the Autorail Grande Capacité (AGC) trains currently being delivered by Bombardier in France.

Francis Tison, Director of Reliability Engineering for the fleet admits this is “a tough target considering the many innovations within the fleet”. That said, although the passenger will see many differences, everything ‘behind the scenes’ is designed for reliability and maintainability.

Bombardier’s success with Spacium 3.O6 is a strong endorsement of the company’s reputation in the French regional rail sector, which – by 2011 – will have 700 AGC trains operating in up to 21 different regions. The AGC is available in diesel and electric versions, and the product platform is the world’s first to offer a hybrid version (dual-mode and optional dual-voltage).

BOMBARDIER MOVIA – The highly successful modular metro solution

Bombardier’s MOVIA modular technology continues to demonstrate its enduring reputation. Bombardier is currently delivering 51 MOVIA metro trains, each with 6-cars, for Line 9 of Shanghai Metro, and will also supply 32 trains for Shanghai’s new Line 7 – projected to open in 2009 in advance of the World Expo 2010. The success of MOVIA and Bombardier’s long-standing relationship in China was endorsed when, in 2007, the company celebrated the delivery of its 1,000th metro vehicle to China.

The modular, proven technology of MOVIA makes it ideal for projects where local assembly is desirable. Its high capacity also make it perfect for densely used networks, a factor which has proved influential in its selection by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which has placed recent contracts for 424 MOVIA metro cars. A contract awarded earlier this year for 84 MOVIA metro cars, followed on from one awarded in July 2007 to supply 340 MOVIA vehicles. Deliveries of the latest order are scheduled to begin early in 2009.

In the Phase II expansion of Delhi Metro, the modern Bombardier MOVIA high-capacity vehicles will transport an impressive four million passengers every day, reducing their journey time and alleviating the heavy traffic congestion and pollution prevalent in the city. The Phase II expansion extends the existing network by approximately 60km, covering all major destinations in the East-West and North-South corridors of the city, which is occupied by approximately 16 million inhabitants.

BOMBARDIER ZEFIRO – the culmination of Bombardier’s track record in very high-speed trains

One of the latest, most exciting developments from Bombardier is the new ZEFIRO train. Responding to growing demands for higher speed trains to compete with international and national air travel, the company has pooled its vast expertise in the high-speed and very high-speed arena to create a new train, specifically for this sector. Developed for speeds of between 250km/h and 360km/h and with economic efficiency and reliability as its basis, ZEFIRO can also be customised for different countries and railway networks.

This electrical multiple unit offers the highest levels of comfort and capacity, and is based on an appreciation of life cycle costs, creating low operating costs and optimising the value of ZEFIRO as an asset. The first application of the ZEFIRO, a sophisticated combination of modular concepts and proven technology, will enter service in China in 2009.

Bombardier Transportation is delivering 20 ZEFIRO 16-car high-speed train sets (320 cars in total) to the Chinese Ministry of Railways (MOR). They are designed for overnight operations to support the rapidly increasing demand for comfortable long-distance travel in the country.

Building on the extraordinary reputation for reliability of its predecessor, high-speed train CRH1, the new ZEFIRO trains feature the world’s first EMU sleeper cars capable of travel up to 250km/h. Manufactured by the company’s Chinese joint venture, Bombardier Sifang Power (Qingdao) Transportation Ltd (BST), the trains are also the first 100% locally made high-speed trains.