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ABB powering new rolling stock in Central Asia

ABB powering new rolling stock in Central Asia

ABB has recently won two important orders for key power components for new freight locomotives and intercity passenger trains in resource-rich Kazakhstan – the largest land-locked country in the world and a vital node in the vast Eurasian rail system that links China with Europe and the Pacific Ocean with the North Sea.

Kazakhstan State Railways (KTZ) has embarked on a huge modernization program to rehabilitate and expand its extensive rail network by improving its infrastructure and investing in new rolling stock.

Rail is by far the most important type of transportation in this vast and strategically located country. The combination of a large land mass, low population density, vast natural resources, and ‘crossroads’ location between China, Europe, Russia and Central Asia, all combine to make rail vital to the country’s economy and transportation network.

Two train builders who have recently won large rolling stock orders from KTZ are Alstom Transport and Talgo, both of whom have selected ABB to supply key power components for their locomotives and train sets respectively.

For Alstom, ABB is supplying 40 traction transformers that will power the first batch of 20 twin-unit freight locomotives that Alstom is supplying KTZ as part of a larger order for 200 single-unit passenger locomotives and 95 twin-unit freight locomotives.


The Alstom freight locomotives are among the most powerful in the world. They are capable of hauling 9,000 metric tons of freight at speeds of up 120 km/h and in extreme winter temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius.

ABB traction transformers are integral to this capability. Their function is to transfer electric power from the catenary to the motor by lowering the network’s high voltage to low voltage for use by the converters. They have to be compact, lightweight and exceptionally reliable, as they are often a non-redundant traction component.

Engineered for very harsh and demanding environments, the transformers are designed to power heavy freight loads over long distances of more than 1,000 km and on tracks with many challenges - steep profiles, short curve radii, excessive wear, voltage drops in long sections, and extreme low and high temperatures.

KTZ has also ordered 420 train cars from the Spanish train builder Talgo to improve its passenger train service and extend its intercity train fleet.

ABB is supplying Talgo and the local joint venture between Talgo and KTZ with two 500 kVA BORDLINE® head-end power (HEP) converters and two powerful BORDLINE battery chargers for each of the twelve 35-car train sets.

Designed to operate in Kazakhstan’s extreme continental climate and with either AC or DC input, the converters feed power into the train from the overhead line for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and other electrically powered by onboard equipment. The 48 BORDLINE converters will be supplied in 2012 and 2013.

ABB was chosen for this project thanks to the strength of its technical solution and established presence in Kazakhstan. The proven reliability of the modular BORDLINE converter platform and the high power density (low weight and compact size) for high HEP demand were also key selling factors.


Also in Kazakhstan today, City.Mobi is celebrating the success of its new guide to Almaty.

City.Mobi offers the most comprehensive mobile travel guides available, with over 800 cities in 200 countries listed. Each is developed by the City.Mobi team to combine into a single global travel directory.

However, each city retains its own mobile identity via a dedicated domain. Already on offer are Brussels.Mobi, Paris.Mobi, Sanfrancisco.Mobi and Sydney.Mobi. is the latest in this illustrious line up, offering click to call functionality – which means no scribbling down telephone numbers.

Most entries are also linked to websites where users can quickly access more detailed information if needed.

Other key features include information on accommodation, restaurants, attractions, entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and transport.

City.Mobi guides include user reviews and traveller utilities such as a translation guide, currency converter, news and local weather guide.