Bombardier ZEFIRO Very High Speed Trains - Railway Technology
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Bombardier ZEFIRO Very High Speed Trains

The ZEFIRO is the latest class of very high speed (VHS) trains from Bombardier. They are claimed to be the most economic




Very high speed trains




Up to 1,336


The ZEFIRO is the latest class of very high speed (VHS) trains from Bombardier. They are claimed to be the most economical and environmentally friendly trains in the world. The class was displayed at InnoTrans 2010, an international trade fair for transport technology, held in Germany.

The trains were first introduced in China and are about to enter service in Italy. The class of trains has a number of attractive features such as spacious and aesthetic interiors, customisation, the lowest energy consumption in its class and high speed.

The trains are being manufactured at a number of sites of Bombardier worldwide.

Design of the ZEFIRO

The ZEFIRO trains feature a flexible design with customisation options for interior shapes and colours. The body is made of aluminium to reduce weight. The interior layout can also be customised.

The main interior components such as the seats, luggage racks and partition walls can be added or removed during the operational life of the train.

The interior space has been maximised by adopting an open tube design. The spacious interiors allow free movement of passengers. The electrical switch cabinets, doors and toilets are placed at the end of the car so they don’t interfere with passenger seating areas.

The design offers significant operational flexibility. Buyers can choose eight and 16 car configurations, with four choices of propulsion power. A restaurant can be included in the trainset.

Capacity of the very high speed (VHS) trains

The ZEFIRO offers the highest seating capacity among the VHS trains available in the world. Its open tube concept accommodates up to 1,336 seats in a 16 car setting and approximately 650 seats in an eight car setting.

Variations of the high speed ZEFIRO

“The ZEFIRO is the latest class of very high speed (VHS) trains from Bombardier.”

The ZEFIRO class trains are available in three variants. The ZEFIRO 250 is a sleeper variant of the VHS train. It runs at a maximum speed of 250kmph.

It is one of the fastest sleeper trains in the world and is currently being operated in China.

Bombardier currently doesn’t produce a non-sleeper variant in this speed configuration but is planning to introduce one for the European market in near future.

The V300ZEFIRO is a high speed variant developed in a strategic partnership with Italy-based company AnsaldoBreda. It is known as ETR 1000 in Italy and features built-in interoperability to suit the operational requirements of eight high-speed European rail networks including those of France, Germany and the Netherlands. It accommodates up to 600 passengers and offers a service speed of up to 360kmph.

The ZEFIRO 380 features sustainable technologies and an aerodynamic design that generates 20% energy savings. It requires the lowest energy consumption per seat in its segment. It also offers the highest service speed among the ZEFIRO class of trains.

Orders and deliveries of Bombardier’s very high speed trains

The Chinese Ministry of Railways ordered 40 ZEFIRO 250 trains in October 2007. The deliveries were completed and the trains are being successfully operated.

An additional order for 40 ZEFIRO 250 trains was placed by China in July 2010. The order includes eight car non-sleeper sets to be customised with a dedicated VIP car that will incorporate First Class seating.

“The ZEFIRO trains feature a flexible design with customisation options for interior shapes.”

China ordered 80 ZEFIRO 380 trains in September 2009. The $4bn order includes 20 eight car sets and 60 16 car sets. The trains are being manufactured at Qingdao, China, by Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation, a joint venture of Bombardier and CSR Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock. The deliveries are expected to begin in 2012 and be completed by 2014.

Italian operator Trenitalia ordered 50 ZEFIRO trains of the V300ZEFIRO variant in September 2010. The contract is valued at $2.1bn, of which Bombardier’s share is valued at $889m.

The production, testing and commissioning of the V300ZEFIRO are carried out mainly in Italy. The service entry is expected in 2013.

The order book for the ZEFIRO reached 210 trains by September 2010.


The ZEFIRO platforms are available in four scalable traction power systems including 1.5kV DC, 3kV DC, 15kV AC and 25kV AC which give an operating speed of 250kmph to 380kmph. All the propulsion systems are compliant with train safety institute (TSI) standards.

Technology incorporated onto the VHS trains

The ZEFIRO trains are equipped with Bombardier in-house technologies such as ECO 4, the EBI drive 50 driver assistance system and the ThermoEfficient Climatisation System. The technologies enable low energy consumption, making the ZEFIRO class one of the most economical trains in the world.

Performance of Bombardier’s ZEFIRO trains

The maximum operating speed of the ZEFIRO class is 380kmph. The sleeper version has a service speed of 250kmph.

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