Integrated bogie tested on Munich Metro

A rail vehicle incorporating an award-winning powered bogie is running in passenger service for the first time on the Munich metro.

Starting this week, Siemens and the Stadtwerke München (SWM – Munich City Utilities) / Münchner Verkehrs-gesellschaft (MVG – Munich Transport Company) are running trials of the Syntegra bogie, which integrates traction, bogie and braking technology to form a unified mechatronic system that is the first of its kind.

Supplied by Siemens' Mobility Division, the system is not only more efficient than conventional traction systems but also saves weight and therefore energy.

Syntegra replaces today's conventional, but mechanically very complex traction design with a very simple gearless three-phase drive system that is up to 30 per cent lighter than present-day metro bogies. This will enable operators to reap considerable energy savings, for Siemens is expecting reductions of up to 20 per cent. The greater economic efficiency goes hand in hand with a further improvement in the metro's environmental balance sheet, which is already extremely favourable in the case of conventional drives.

Günter Pedall, head of the metro section at SWM/MVG, explained: "We're only too happy to help Siemens in the testing of its new energy-efficient traction concept. As one of Germany's largest metro operators, we're very interested in putting innovative technologies to use as quickly as possible once they have proven themselves in long-term trials."

The Siemens test vehicle is a type B 2-car unit, in which one of the cars is equipped with two Syntegra bogies. It is being used in passenger service in conjunction with two conventional 2-car units – in other words, in multiple running as part of a normal extended train. Special measuring equipment will be recording all the performance data of the test car. Siemens and SWM/MVG will then jointly evaluate the results.

Initially, passengers will not be able to notice much of a difference to conventional metro cars. The only thing that stands out is the label stuck on the car which draws attention to the innovative inner life of the vehicle. Siemens anticipates that the Syntegra can be ready for series production in two years.

In 2007, Siemens won the Bavarian innovation prize "Intelligence for Transportation and Logistics" for this development.

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