Swiss rail manufacturer Stadler has won a €165m ($182m) contract from Taiwan Railway Administration to supply 34 diesel-electric locomotives.

The locomotives will serve on the 1,067mm narrow gauge network in Taiwan and are meant for both passenger and freight use.

This contract marks the Swiss company’s first major tender contact in the Asia Pacific region.

The six-axle locomotives will be powered by a 2,700hp Cummins engine. Built at Stadler’s plant at Valencia in Spain, the trains will run at a maximum speed of 120km/h.

As Taiwan experiences temperatures as high as 45˚C and humidity up to 100%, the trains will be designed specifically for the country’s climate.

Stadler group CEO Thomas Ahlburg said: “We are proud to be able to supply a larger rolling stock series to Asia for the first time. The locomotives will be used in demanding mountainous topography, similar to that of Switzerland, and in extreme climatic conditions.

“Stadler is very familiar with adapting rail vehicles to such specific challenges. Combined with the ability to build lightweight yet environmentally-friendly locomotives, these are important reasons for our success in Taiwan.”

Last month, Stadler signed an agreement with PT Inka to form a joint venture (JV) for the development and manufacture of rolling stock at the Banyuwangi facility in east Java.

Stadler noted that the JV marked a ‘strategically important leap’, which would offer the company a base from which it could gain access to the wider Southeast Asian market.

In January, Hitachi secured a contract worth nearly TWD44.3bn ($1.44bn) to supply 600 electric multiple unit (EMU) train cars to Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA).