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ABB substations to strengthen railway infrastructure in Switzerland

ABB substations to strengthen railway infrastructure in Switzerland

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won orders worth around $30 million from the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB), the national Swiss rail operator, and from the private Matterhorn Gotthard Railway to help boost power and increase capacity on one of the world’s most comprehensive and reliable rail networks. The order was booked in the first quarter of 2015.

Three new traction substations being supplied by ABB will enable SBB and the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway to increase their capacity to meet rising traffic volume in southwestern and central Switzerland. The work will be completed by 2018.

Switzerland has one of the world’s most complete and efficient rail networks, with services integrated with other forms of public transport. The rail network functions as the core of a wider public transport system. More than 97 percent of connections are on time, underscoring Switzerland’s reputation as a reliable partner for commuter and leisure travel.

“These substations will help to strengthen the Swiss railway grid, enhancing mobility and service reliability for millions of people,” said Claudio Facchin, president of ABB’s Power Systems division. “These orders are in line with our Next Level strategy of organic growth through sustainable value creation for our customers and serving communities all over the world.”

The railway run by the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway is located in the heart of the Swiss Alps and connects skiing and tourist hubs including Zermatt, at the foot of the Matterhorn, with Andermatt, a mountain town near the Gotthard Pass. On this line, ABB will install a 132/11 kilovolt (kV) substation at an altitude of 1,346 meters above sea level to ensure reliable power supply and enhance voltage stability.


ABB will also construct two 132/66/15/11 kV substations for SBB in the towns of Brig and Luins, replacing temporary mobile substations and providing additional transmission and distribution capacity at important rail hubs that connect the north-south Simplon and Lötschberg lines and lines of the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway, as well as for the Geneva-Lausanne line.

As part of this turnkey contract, ABB will design, supply, install and commission three traction substations. Key products to be supplied include gas-insulated switchgear, air-insulated switchgear, traction transformers and auxiliary power supply equipment. All three substations will also be equipped with automation, protection and telecommunication systems.

SBB carries more than 360 million passengers and around 50 million tons of freight a year across 3,198 kilometers of track, while the Matterhorn Gotthard Railway transports about 2.5 million passengers and 100,000 tons of freight annually over 144 kilometers of track with altitude differences of 3,300 meters.

For the first time in its history, SBB transported more than a million customers a day in 2013. In 2014 SBB transported 1,180,000 or about 3.7 percent more than in the previous year. The number of passenger-kilometres travelled rose by 2.6 percent to 18.2 billion in 2014.