ABB wins US$ 19 million power equipment contract for Italian railway

2003-06-13 - Traction transformers are key component for high-speed Trenitalia line

Zurich, Switzerland, June 13, 2003 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, announced today that it has received a US$ 19 million contract for traction transformers that will be used on Italy’s high-speed ETR 500 train for a new railway running between Milan and Rome.

Under terms of the contract, ABB will design and manufacture 110 traction transformers for Bombardier Transportation for the TREVI consortium, the supplier of the ETR 500 to Trenitalia, the Italian national railways’ passenger-transport company. The transformers will have a power rating of 6 MVA, weigh 6 tonnes and be capable of running on two different power supply systems: 25 kV/50 Hz or 3 kV DC.

Able to run at speeds of 300 km/h, the ETR 500 train will be the most modern and fastest in Italy, and it is planned that they will eventually also be routed to Paris.

The dual supply system capability of ABB traction transformers was required by Italy's new high speed rail network in which locomotives must be able to receive power from the 3 kV DC network currently existing on the Italian railway network, and also from the 25 kV AC network on the Italian high speed lines under construction and on international high speed lines.

ABB traction transformers are specifically tailored for rolling stock applications. They are designed to meet every constraint of the locomotive and more particularly: weight and size, which are key issues for very high-speed trains, but also efficiency and safety.

Of paramount importance is the reliability as a traction transformer is not duplicated in a locomotive and therefore must be fail-proof. Other benefits are load flexibility and reduced electromagnetic interference in order not to interfere with signaling and communication systems.

Delivery of the traction transformers will be made in two stages, with 50 units delivered in 2004 and the remaining portion delivered in 2005. ABB in Geneva as Focused Factory for traction transformers is responsible for engineering and production of the equipment.

This is ABB’s second recent power technology contract for a high-speed railway, with a previous US$ 26.4 million contract for the power distribution system for Section 2 of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link in the UK.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 135,000 people.

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    ABB to deliver fail-proof traction transformers for Italy's high-speed train ETR 500

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