Getting rail passengers to the airport on time

2012-09-18 - ABB is providing a new customized traction transformer and long-term service program for one of the world’s most punctual airport rail links, to ensure that its fleet of high-speed award-winning trains continues to operate with almost 100 percent punctuality.

By ABB Communications

Arlanda Express entering Stockholm Central railway station.

Arlanda Express has an enviable punctuality record. Its fleet of seven four-car electrical multiple units (EMUs) carries around three million passengers a year between Stockholm Central railway station in the Swedish capital and Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

The trains run four to six times an hour in both directions at speeds of up to 200 km/h, completing the 39 km non-stop journey in 20 minutes and with a punctuality rate of up to 99 percent.

Not only are the trains punctual, they are also award-winners.

A-Train, the company that operates Arlanda Express, recently refurbished the fleet to improve passenger comfort and create what it calls ‘Trains of the future.’ To date, the concept has won two major international awards – the Red Dot Design Award for best product design, and the Global AirRail Award for Project of the Year – both of which were awarded in 2011.

As part of its efforts to maintain its benchmark levels of punctuality and customer comfort,
A-Train recently selected ABB to design a fleet refurbishment solution for the Arlanda Express traction transformers – a solution that would improve equipment performance, reduce life cycle costs, and limit the risk of a power outage.

ABB has custom-designed a new traction transformer that fits perfectly with the original 13 year-old converters and motor, and retains the existing interfaces with all the traction components and car body.

Second, the new traction transformer retains the same weight and footprint as the original transformer while providing a huge 20 percent boost in reserve power to accommodate any future improvements to the train that require additional energy.

And third, ABB has tailored a full service contract to meet the customer’s precise needs and ensure that the new traction transformers perform as specified and at the lowest possible life cycle cost. The contract includes onsite supervision of transformer installation, onsite customer training, and advanced diagnostics – all backed up by a long ABB warranty.

Refurbishing a fleet’s traction transformers or converters - while leaving all the other components and interfaces in the traction chain unchanged - is an ABB service differentiator.

ABB will complete the delivery of the first three traction transformers for Arlanda Express in 2013. A-Train has an option to order five additional transformers for delivery in 2013 and 2014. Each Arlanda Express EMU is equipped with one traction transformer; the eighth unit will function as a spare.

An ABB underfloor traction transformer similar to the one that ABB has designed for Arlanda Express. Along with the traction converter and motor, the traction transformer makes up the train’s traction chain. The transformer and converter deliver electricity to the motor by stepping down and converting the power to the correct voltage and current from an overhead electric line or catenary.

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