PR – Velaro, the high speed train by Siemens, keeps going from success to success. The first five of a total order for 60 high speed trains will be rolling in China in August in time for the Olympic Games. And by the end of the year, the first Russian Velaro will make tracks for Russia from the Siemens plant in Krefeld, Germany. “Just like in Spain recently, this high-tech trainset from the Mobility Division of Siemens Industry will underscore the image and attractiveness of rail-based transportation in these countries,” stressed Edzard Lübben, responsible for the high speed trainsets at Siemens Mobility, at the UIC Highspeed Congress in Amsterdam.
With the inauguration of the Madrid – Barcelona line at the end of February, Spain is well on its way to having Europe’s most comprehensive high speed rail system by 2010. The Siemens Velaro E, which goes by the name AVE S 103 in Spain, takes only two and a half hours to cover the 621 kilometers between Madrid and Barcelona – with a train leaving every hour. Developed in Germany based on DB’s ICE 3, and built in Germany and Spain, these 26 trainsets herald in a new era of transportation between Spain’s two largest cities. Conventional trains need more than six hours to do the journey, and a flight takes about 70 minutes not counting journey time to and from the airports, check-in and security checks.
144 units of the Siemens Trainguard train control system are deployed on the route between Madrid and Barcelona. Together with ETCS systems and components from other suppliers, they ensure the safety of the Velaro E passengers. And don’t forget: it was a Velaro E that set the new world record speed of 404 km/h for series trains in September 2006.
It looks like Siemens will soon be speeding ahead to another record with the upgrade and expansion of the Chinese high speed rail system. The first Velaro trainset arrived in the port of the Chinese city of Tjanjin at the end of January – less than two years after the supply contract for the trainsets was signed. Siemens’ Chinese partner in Tangshan is currently putting this Velaro unit into service. The second of a total of three trainsets built in Germany is currently being shipped to China and is expected to arrive there at the end of March. “When we started this project we had very little time to get it done, but we now expect to finish it ahead of schedule,” says Ernst Reuss, Project Manager at Siemens Mobility for the Velaro in China.
In addition, the first of the 57 trainsets manufactured by the Siemens partner Tangshan Locomotive & Rolling Stock Works in China will go into service at the beginning of April. Thus, Siemens is way ahead with all its trainsets. As required by our client, five chinese CRH 3 based on the Siemens’ Velaro-platform will provide a quick service for visitors to the Olympic Games in China in August.
The construction of the eight Velaros for Russia is also running to schedule. The cars for the first trainset are currently being built in the Siemens plant in Krefeld, while the remaining cars are at the prefabrication stage. The first Velaro RUS trainsets are due to be finished and on their way from the workshops in Krefeld to St. Petersburg before the year is out. One trainset a month will travel to Russia from February 2009 onwards.