The RAIL.ONE Group is a highly successful international provider of concrete sleepers, comprehensive track systems, and engineering solutions oriented to the entire area of railtrack construction. RAIL.ONE will now establish its own local subsidiary in China for effective execution of its activities on the Chinese growth market. Beijing RAIL.ONE Pfleiderer track systems’ Technology Co. Ltd., was founded with legal effect on 22 December 2006. Today, Friday 16 March 2007, an inauguration ceremony is being held in Beijing which will be attended by representatives of the Chinese Railways Ministry, as well as by other leading government and business representatives from China and Germany.

General manager of the new company is Mr Ekkehard Lay, who spent the previous 26 years working successfully for Deutsche Bahn, where he was in charge of product management technology for DB Netz AG. Lay now intends to apply his extensive experience in service of RAIL.ONE, for which he will focus on further expanding the company’s market and technology position in China and Asia.

Beijing RAIL.ONE Pfleiderer track systems’ Technology Co. Ltd. has its registered office in Beijing, with the legal status of a “wholly foreign-owned enterprise.” Operating as a Chinese company, Beijing RAIL.ONE will primarily employ local specialists and managers. The company’s objective is to play a key role in construction and expansion of high-performance railtrack infrastructure in China.

For Hans Bachmann, managing director for sales and marketing of the RAIL.ONE Group, founding a wholly-owned subsidiary in China is a logical step toward greater collaboration with Chinese companies and authorities. This collaboration will especially enable the implementation of patented ballastless track technology for high-speed and heavy-haul mainline rail links. As Bachmann emphasizes, “Founding Beijing RAIL.ONE Pfleiderer track systems’ Technology as a national Chinese company is the expression of our clear commitment to long-term commercial involvement on the Chinese rail infrastructure market. It is also a sign of our understanding of the need to collaborate as partners on equal footing.”

Initially, Ekkehard Lay will concentrate on specifically planned projects to build around 12,000km of ballastless track for high-speed rail traffic. In addition, however, he also sees additional attractive long-term potential for collaboration: “With our know-how and products, I am sure that we will move into other areas of track-infrastructure activity. I am especially thinking of urban transit and the upgrading of existing track to enable it to cope with heavy-haul freight traffic.”

The RAIL.ONE Group has been active in the People’s Republic of China since 2000. In January 2006, the company signed an agreement with the Chinese Railways Ministry to implement the RHEDA 2000® ballastless track system in China. Under the terms of this agreement, China is entitled to employ RHEDA technology, while RAIL.ONE and its partners (Eichholz, Heitkamp, and the Royal BAM Group) will play a major role in planning and construction of the double-track Passenger Dedicated Line from Wuhan to Guangzhou in southeast China. Nearly the whole link, some 980km long, will be built using RHEDA 2000®. The link is scheduled to go into operation in 2010.

Part of the agreement involves the transfer of know-how. As a result, more than 60 Chinese engineers, technicians and managers came to Germany last year, where they underwent an extensive training program in which RAIL.ONE employees imparted essential expertise in the fields of sleeper and rail system production and maintenance. The guests from China were also able to gain valuable practical insight into daily project operations.

In September and November last year, RAIL.ONE signed contracts to build a total of seven production plants for pre-stressed concrete sleepers for the line from Wuhan to Guangzhou. These facilities include five mobile plants for on-site production of bi-block sleepers, as well as two plants for the highly specialized production of turnout sleepers. The new rail link will necessitate the manufacture of around 3.2 million sleepers, which must be produced with very short lead times.