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ABB traction and battery technologies to drive Stadler’s trains of tomorrow

ABB has won orders worth over $180 million from Swiss train manufacturer Stadler to supply leading-edge equipment for more than 160 trains and locomotives in Europe and North America. ABB battery and traction systems will further drive decarbonization and support the transition to more sustainable electromobility.

ABB traction and battery technologies to drive Stadler’s trains of tomorrow
Image: Stadler

For the Wales & Borders railway franchise in the United Kingdom the order includes customized ABB traction equipment for 71 rail units. The traction equipment converts the electrical energy from the overhead power line, generator or battery into the correct voltage and frequency for driving the traction motors. Out of these trains, 24 will be equipped with advanced technology to enable tri-mode operation, which powers the train via catenary lines, diesel generator or batteries.

The high-power onboard energy storage system using Lithium-ion battery cells is manufactured by ABB in Baden, Switzerland. This innovative system enables the train to operate in non-electrified sections of the tracks without engaging the diesel engine, thus reducing the carbon footprint as well as significantly reducing the cost and need of electrification.

To reduce emissions in and around Cardiff, Wales, 36 of the Stadler model CITYLINK tram-trains will be equipped with ABB traction equipment and energy storage systems to replace the current diesel fleet. The tram-trains will operate with overhead lines on parts of the network while switching to battery mode on non-electrified sections.

Additionally, traction equipment will be installed in over 100 new regional trains and locomotives for operation in Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Canada and the United States. The trains with ABB equipment will help provide better service, faster connections and increased sustainable commuter service.

“With our recently inaugurated production facility for energy storage systems in Baden, Switzerland, ABB has expanded its technology and market leadership in the field of sustainable mobility. We can supply the entire traction chain from a single source,” said Morten Wierod, President of ABB’s Motion Business. “ABB has many years of experience in energy storage systems for a wide variety of applications such as in power grids or solar systems. We have now successfully integrated energy efficient and advanced traction equipment with batteries in modern trains, in partnership with Stadler.”

Energy storage systems are becoming an integral part of rail vehicles and play a key role in sustainable mobility. The increasing use of these technologies is helping to decarbonize transportation and brings a variety of benefits including improved energy efficiency, increased operational flexibility, lower costs of wayside infrastructure and total cost of ownership. ABB has a long history of providing innovative and energy-efficient technologies to the rail sector, manufacturing and servicing all components and sub-systems in urban, intercity and high-speed networks for rail infrastructure and rolling stock. ABB also provides life-cycle service support, including maintenance and retrofits for its large global installed base.

The orders from Stadler were booked in Q1 2020.

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