- Innovations in rail technology open a window to a future in which high speed is not just about travelling faster but also smarter
Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation presented the case for sustained investment in high speed rail at a recent seminar on high speed train technology in Beijing, China. The event was part of the Modern Railways 2012 exhibition.
Johan Palm, Very High Speed (VHS) Product Manager, Bombardier Transportation, presented alongside China’s Ministry of Railways and other members of the global rail industry. He focused on the BOMBARDIER ZEFIRO family, featuring the world’s most economical and eco-friendly VHS trains, as well as the landmark Green Train research product in Sweden and the latest double deck technology that combines speed with comfort as never before.
Congestion and pollution pose serious challenges to the growth of industrialised and developing nations. High speed and VHS trains present a low carbon alternative to air and road as the backbone of national transportation infrastructure, while offering passengers an attractive alternative to motorways and medium distance air travel thanks to quick boarding and travelling comfort. In many countries, economic stimulus packages initiated in recent years support the construction of new rail networks.
“Modern high speed trains offer some of the most exciting and innovative technology found in transport, inspiring the imagination of passengers across the globe,” Palm said. “Bombardier’s ultra-modern ZEFIRO trains combine the highest capacity in the market with pioneering levels of passenger comfort. The award-winning ZEFIRO 380 train offers unrivalled, customized comfort, smart design, and operational flexibility. With a top speed of 380 km/h, it can compete with air travel at distances up to 700 km.”
Bombardier currently has four ZEFIRO trains in development – the ZEFIRO 250 and ZEFIRO 250NG (next generation) trains with top speeds of 250 km/h, the ZEFIRO 380 and the V300ZEFIRO train for Europe. The trains achieve true pan-continental interoperability because they are compatible with different power supply systems and different signalling and train control equipment. This enables cross-border travel beyond simple country-to-country trips.
The innovative ZEFIRO 380 and V300ZEFIRO trains are equipped with the proven BOMBARDIER FLEXX Speed bogie. It is designed to ensure excellent ride quality at very high speeds. The FLEXX Speed bogie family guarantees safe, stable and comfortable running throughout the entire speed range up to 380 km/h.
The trains’ high-class aerodynamic performance is a key element in reducing excessive noise. This provides environmental advantages related to noise pollution controls and offers increased comfort for riders. The overall design of the trains is highly innovative as evidenced by the fact that the ZEFIRO 380 train has won three prestigious design awards: the 2013 German Design Award, the German iF Product Design Award as well as the 2011 Good Design Award from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
By incorporating many energy-saving BOMBARDIER ECO4 technologies, ZEFIRO trains deliver the lowest energy consumption per seat of any VHS train in the world today. With up to 1,300 seats per train, they can hold twice as many passengers as the largest plane in the world, the Airbus A380.
In the Swedish Gröna Tåget (Green Train) project, energy-efficient high speed rail solutions such as the BOMBARDIER MITRAC permanent magnet motor for increased efficiency in propulsion and the FLEXX Tronic bogie technology for faster speed through curves were tested on a BOMBARDIER REGINA train. The unique project brought together partners from industry and academia to find ways to make rail travel more attractive through shorter travel times, lower costs and increased capacity, coupled with passenger comfort and excellent environmental performance. Tested at speeds of 300 km/h, the Green Train project presented innovations with benefits such as reduced track wear, improved aerodynamic efficiency, improved ride comfort for passengers and improved energy efficiency.
Leading the way to a new level of fast and comfortable regional transportation are 59 new TWINDEXX Swiss Express trains for the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). One of the technical highlights of the TWINDEXX train is the leading-edge FLEXX Tronic WAKO system. It compensates the natural rolling motion of the carbody while driving, thus maximising comfort for passengers and at the same time allowing the train to take curves particularly quickly. Compared to other systems, the train will tilt only to a very limited degree and therefore causes no problems for people who feel unwell in “normal” tilting trains. This mechatronic technology, merging proven technical components into an innovative system, enables double deck intercity trains to increase speed in curves by up to 15 per cent, thus significantly reducing travel times.
With a portfolio of more than 20 products worldwide, Bombardier has been a key player in the design and delivery of almost all major European very high speed trains as well as other significant high speed projects for more than two decades. Bombardier has participated in Europe’s most prestigious VHS trains, including the ICE family in Germany, the ETR 500 in Italy as well as the new generation of ETR 1000 and four different series of TGV in France. Beyond Europe, Bombardier has been involved in the development of the Acela Express tilting train operating between Washington D.C. and Boston in the USA at speeds of up to 240 km/h, as well as the Xinshisu (X2000) and the CRH1 in China.
About Bombardier Transportation
Bombardier Transportation, a global leader in rail technology, offers the broadest portfolio in the rail industry and delivers innovative products and services that set new standards in sustainable mobility. Bombardier ECO4 technologies – built on the four cornerstones of energy, efficiency, economy and ecology – conserve energy, protect the environment and help to improve total train performance for operators and passengers. Bombardier Transportation is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, and has a very diverse customer base with products or services in more than 60 countries. It has an installed base of over 100,000 vehicles worldwide.
Bombardier is the world’s only manufacturer of both planes and trains. Looking far ahead while delivering today, Bombardier is evolving mobility worldwide by answering the call for more efficient, sustainable and enjoyable transportation everywhere. Our vehicles, services and, most of all, our employees are what make us a global leader in transportation.
Bombardier is headquartered in Montréal, Canada. Our shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD) and we are listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. In the fiscal year ended December 31, 2011, we posted revenues of $18.3 billion USD. News and information are available at bombardier.com or follow us on Twitter @Bombardier.
Follow Bombardier Transportation on Twitter @BombardierRail.
Picture 1: V300ZEFIRO VHS train (Frecciarossa 1000)
Picture 2: ZEFIRO 380 VHS train
Picture 3: TWINDEXX Swiss Express
Picture 4: FLEXX Tronic WAKO system
BOMBARDIER, ZEFIRO, FLEXX, REGINA, MITRAC, TWINDEXX, WAKO and ECO4 are trademarks of Bombardier Inc. or its subsidiaries.
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