China places �2.5 billion order for super-fast trains

Bombardier Transportation's Chinese joint venture, Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation, has won an order to build 80 very-high-speed trains for China's rapidly growing high-speed rail network. They will be capable of running at up to 380km/h (236mph).

The contract from the Ministry of Railways is for 20 eight-car trainsets and 60 sixteen-car trainsets, and is worth an estimated 27.4 billion yuan (£2.5 billion). The first train is scheduled for delivery in 2012 with final deliveries expected in 2014.

The new Zefiro 380 trainsets will be an integral part of an evolving high-speed rail capability in China, which is developing more than 6,000km of new lines to create one of the most advanced high-speed rail networks in the world.

Bombardier said the trains will be based on the company's next-generation Zefiro high speed rail technology, and powered by its Mitrac propulsion and control system, which it says is highly energy efficient. They will also incorporate advanced ECO4 energy-saving technologies.

The Zefiro 380 trains will be manufactured at Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation production facilities in Qingdao, China. Engineering will take place in Qingdao and at Bombardier centres in Europe, with project management and components provided from sites in Europe and China.

Established in 1998, Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation is a joint venture between Bombardier and CSR Sifang Locomotive and Rolling Stock dedicated to supplying passenger rail rolling stock for China. It has delivered over 1,000 passenger rail cars into China since its inception, including a range of high-speed trains and high-grade passenger coaches.

Stéphane Rambaud-Measson, president of Bombardier Transportation Passengers Division, explained that Zefiro 380 is designed from the ground up to make high speed rail more effective as a competitive mode of passenger transport. "The most exciting projects are those that push the technology envelope toward new achievement," he said. "Zefiro represents a step change in the very high speed rail sector. It's fast to be sure, but competitive rail service demands more than just speed. It's about operating efficiency, best-in-class energy consumption per passenger, reliability and rider capacity that exceeds anything else on the rails. Zefiro delivers all this and more," he concluded.

In China, Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation is currently building the world's fastest sleeper trains for the Ministry of Railways: twenty 16-car trainsets capable of speeds up to 250km/h. It is also building another 20 high-speed trains with conventional seating capable of similar speeds.

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