Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation held the first FLEXX Bogie Operator Forum at its global Centre of Excellence for Bogies in Crespin, France. During this technical seminar, more than 20 customers from seven countries exchanged their experiences and gave valuable feedback on the operational performances of FLEXX bogies. They also clearly defined their needs and expectations for the evolution of future FLEXX bogies.
During the workshops, participants brainstormed on how new technologies could make Bombardier’s bogies even more reliable and easier to maintain. Bombardier presented its FLEXX Compact bogies for the Regio 2N trains for the French Regions and its centre for developing FLEXX Tronic technologies.
The FLEXX bogie portfolio is the world’s most comprehensive one: it covers the entire range of railway vehicles from metros, trams, high speed trains to heavy haul locomotives. The latest groundbreaking innovations showcased at the event included the FLEXX Tronic WAKO system for BOMBARDIER TWINDEXX double-deck intercity trains and the FLEXX Urban 3000 bogie for state-of-the-art BOMBARDIER FLEXITY 2 low-floor trams.
Bombardier’s FLEXX Tronic WAKO technology shortens journey times and heightens passenger comfort by compensating the roll movement of trains travelling on curved tracks. This smoother ride allows trains to travel through curves up to 15 per cent faster than with conventional bogies.
Energy efficiency is at the heart of the FLEXX Eco bogie. Its extremely compact and lightweight design reduces total bogie mass by 30 per cent compared to similar bogies. This proven technology has already served for 1.5 billion km under Voyager, Meridian and BOMBARDIER TURBOSTAR trains in the UK and has been chosen for Germany’s new ICx very high speed trains.
”Operators expect ever more safe, reliable and cost effective products,” said Bart Vantorre, President of Bombardier Transportation’s Bogies business unit. “They expect excellent maintainability, reduced lifecycle costs and high reliability. The market is changing and certification and homologation processes are becoming more stringent. The forum’s open and fruitful discussions have given us new insights into our clients’ present and future needs to help us meet these challenges fully.”
Operators around the world are looking for sustainable, environmentally friendly transport solutions as urban populations grow and congestion and pollution increase. Rail transport also needs to address passengers’ need for comfort and speed in order to offer a viable alternative to road networks.
Vantorre added: “Bombardier continues to innovate to solve these global transport issues in close cooperation with our customers. We are committed to leading the way in the evolution of mobility.”
“Crespin was the perfect place to launch the Bogie Operator Forum,” said Jean Bergé, President of Bombardier Transportation France. “Our site in northern France is the country’s leading industrial rail site employing about 2,000 people, including 500 engineers and technicians. The Centre of Excellence for Bogies plays a central role at the site, where the Francilien commuter train and regional trains like the Regio 2N are designed, built and tested all under one roof.”
More than 200 specialist bogie engineers innovate and design state of the art bogies at Bombardier sites around the world. The company is currently investing 8 million euro in setting up a new Bogie Technical Centre to boost its global reputation for quality, innovation and performance. The new site in Siegen, Germany, will combine a test and validation centre with a business unit hub. The Centre of Excellence in Crespin has a production capacity of 1,500 bogies per year.