Germany-based Knorr-Bremse has secured an order from Hitachi Rail to supply equipment for a new generation of metro trains in Italy.

Knorr-Bremse will deliver its new couplers for passenger train application to Hitachi Rail under the contract, making its foray into the international market for coupling systems.

It has been tasked with equipping 46 new metros that will run on Milan’s M1, M2 and M3 lines. Each metro unit will feature six railcars.

Milan’s ATM municipal transit authority is responsible for the operation of these lines.

Knorr-Bremse is planning to begin the deliveries in the fourth quarter of this year, which will run through to the first quarter of 2026.

The first trains are expected to start service in 2024.

IFE, which is Knorr-Bremse’s brand for train entrance systems, will supply door systems for these units.

The scope of the contract also includes the supply of pneumatic braking systems equipped with FlexControl Modular brake control units.

Knorr-Bremse executive board member Dr Jürgen Wilder said: “Investments in state-of-the-art transportation infrastructure and technologies are vital for the development of reliable, efficient, sustainable rail mobility.

“We’re delighted that our partner Hitachi Rail has once again demonstrated its confidence in our solutions by placing this high-value order, and that Knorr-Bremse is benefiting from the expansion of transportation services for people living in the Milan area.”

Furthermore, Knorr-Bremse is parallelly engaged in the development of a Digital Automatic Coupler (DAC, FreightLink) for freight trains.

In combination with the DAC, Knorr-Bremse’s automation system is expected to support intelligent functions and digital services to conduct process automation and smart, predictive maintenance.

Last year in November, Knorr-Bremse signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Thales for the development of automatic train operation (ATO) solutions for locomotive-hauled freight and passenger trains.