Romania’s state-owned passenger railway provider CFR Călători has contracted ABB to upgrade its electric locomotives.

19 Electroputere LE 5100 locomotives will receive “complete traction chains” to improve their operational efficiency and running speed.

ABB will provide transformers, converters and electric motors, which will be fitted to the locomotives by local specialists Reloc.

The model of locomotive was built in Romania from the late 1960s until the 1990s, but has since seen little upgrade or improvement work. That means the ageing public transport runs at an average of just 40 km/h.

According to ABB, the use of modern IGBT traction converters with new traction transformers and AC traction motors will enable overall drive train efficiency improvements of around 5% versus the old traction system with thyristor rectifier and DC motors. Another 15% energy savings are expected to be achieved through the recuperation of energy during braking.

“We are delighted to be working with Reloc on this critical retrofit project that helps put CFR on track to eventually allow its passenger trains to run at a top speed of 160 km/h,” explained Roger Affolter, head of retrofit at ABB Traction.

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By GlobalData

The project is funded by Romania’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) supported by the EU.