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September 2, 2014

Swiss Federal Railways contracts ABB for new traction equipment

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has awarded a $75.4m contract to ABB Switzerland to deliver new traction equipment for its Re 460 fleet electric locomotives.

By Samseer M

Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) has awarded a $75.4m contract to ABB Switzerland to deliver new traction equipment for its Re 460 fleet electric locomotives.

As part of a mid-life refurbishment programme, SBB’s fleet of 119 200km/h four-axle Re 460 electric locomotives will be fitted with the new traction equipment.

ABB Switzerland will provide 202 power converters under the contract, which comes with an option to deliver 38 more units.

"ABB Switzerland will provide 202 power converters under the contract, which comes with an option to deliver 38 more units."

The new equipment is expected to reduce traction power consumption by 27GWh a year. Prior to being installed, the converter will be piloted on a prototype locomotive by the end of next year and will be tested for a year.

Following successful testing, the remaining 118 locomotives will be fitted with the new equipment.

The first Re 460 prototype will be manufactured in SSB’s workshop in Yverdon-les-Bains. It will be ready to enter service from 2016 for operation in the Gotthard base tunnel.

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The interior of the locomotive will be completely reconstructed, by making necessary changes to the heating and air conditioning systems in the engine cabin, as well as other minor improvements.

Built by a Swiss consortium of SLM and ABB, the locomotive refurbishment programme is expected to extend the operating life of the locomotives by 20 years.

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