ABB wins transformer order for South Africa’s expanding electric rail fleet

Transformers worth around $50 million destined for 240 electric locomotives to meet the region’s growing freight rail demand

Zurich, Switzerland, February 5, 2015 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, won an order worth around $50 million from Bombardier Transportation for traction transformers and associated products for 240 freight locomotives that will help form the backbone of South Africa’s electric rail fleet. The order was booked in the fourth quarter of 2014.

The traction units, to be installed in Bombardier’s TRAXX locomotives to be built in South Africa, will reliably transform electricity for trains running on the country’s dual 3kV direct-current (DC) and 25kV alternating-current (AC) overhead voltage network. ABB has supplied traction transformers for several of Bombardier’s electrical locomotives since 1998. Designed for their versatility and ruggedness, ABB traction transformers already power more than half the world’s electric locomotives and train sets.

South Africa, with the continent’s most-comprehensive railway system, is investing nearly $5 billion to renew and expand its rail fleet, not only to boost passenger travel but also to increase its ability to efficiently ship freight including iron ore for export around the world. South Africa aims to boost the share of freight shipped by rail significantly over the next decade.

“Compact design and exceptional reliability make ABB traction transformers ideal for powering freight loads under challenging conditions, ensuring both high performance and energy efficient rail operations,” said Bernhard Jucker, head of ABB’s Power Products division.

Engineered for not only harsh and demanding environments but also for their versatility, ABB traction transformers are designed to support heavy freight loads over distances of more than 1,000 kilometers. They help power trains that often operate on tracks facing challenges including multiple power systems, steep inclines, tight curves, excessive wear, voltage drops in long sections and extreme temperatures.

ABB offers a complete range of power and distribution transformers designed for reliability, durability and efficiency. ABB is a major transformer manufacturer throughout the world and offers both liquid-filled and dry-type transformers as well as services for complete lifecycle support, including replacement parts and components.

ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 140,000 people.



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    • ABB Group Media Relations
      ABB Corporate Communications
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      Thomas Schmidt, Antonio Ligi
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