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20 Front-End Modules for 10 Trains – More to Come

Friday, August 03, 2007 by Voith Turbo

Korea is currently in the process of building a high-speed railway line between Daegu and Busan, which is to be completed by 2010. Further such high-speed tracks are planned. The existing and future lines will be used for the new KTX II.

This train is a further development of the TGV-based Korea Train eXpress KTX I. From mid 2008 onwards, Voith Turbo Scharfenberg will supply complete front-end modules as well as automatic couplers and horizontal buffers for ten of these new trains.

The new Korean high-speed train is becoming a prestigious reference project for Voith. In addition to the contract for the front-ends, Voith Turbo also received an order for 80 final drives for this TGV spin-off. As a result, Voith Turbo is represented not only inside or rather underneath the KTX II, but also presents itself to passengers with its front-end adding to the overall appearance of the train.

Each train will be installed with two of these front-ends. The previous model KTX I was already fitted with Voith Turbo Scharfenberg couplers (emergency couplers). As a rule, all TGV trains are installed with Scharfenberg couplers type ten. The KTX II will feature the new low-maintenance one4 coupler in a type ten version.

The demand of the Korean manufacturer Rotem to adapt and optimize functionality and design presented a special challenge to the Schaku engineers in charge of developing the nose cone and the front cover with its integrated coupler. While the KTX I EMUs has 20 carriages with simple emergency couplers, the KTX II is designed as a 10-car EMU. This type of EMU can be coupled at any time, in order to increase transport capacities flexibly or allow Y-traffic (similar to the ICE service in Germany).

Voith Turbo Scharfenberg met these requirements by developing a front-end in module design, which can be easily added as a "Plug & Play solution. A completely new feature is the integration of both the pneumatic and the electronic control, covering the operation of the entire system of front cover elements in combination with the Schaku coupler.

The Scharfenberg coupler is mounted prior to the Installation of the front module. For passive safety, the coupler is fitted with a crash absorbing element. The entire system is designed on the basis of the TSI for high-speed trains.

The new KTX II will run at maximum speeds of up to 330 km/h. First tests with a prototype are planned for 2008. The delivery of the first of the 20 front-ends will start in mid 2008. Voith Turbo already has an option for another 19 trains representing 38 front-ends.