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Bombardier wins German design award for ZEFIRO

Bombardier wins German design award for ZEFIRO

Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation has won the German Design Award 2013 for its ZEFIRO 380 very high speed train, currently being manufactured in Germany and China. The train combines the highest capacity in the industry with pioneering levels of passenger comfort and employs leading-edge technologies and advanced aerodynamics to reduce energy consumption.

The award in the category transportation and public space places it at among the top nine products from 1,500 top-class nominations covering all kinds of vehicles, urban/street fittings and navigation systems. It is the third prestigious design award for the train, which has also won the German iF Product Design Award and the 2011 Good Design Award, from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.

ZEFIRO trains can significantly reduce travelling times between major cities and boost interregional economic growth. With a maximum operating speed of 380 km/h, and a sleeper version that reaches 250 km/h, they are among the world’s fastest trains. They also offer unrivalled, customized comfort, smart design, and operational flexibility. ZEFIRO trains compete with air travel in terms of travelling times on distances of up to 700 km.

The trains’ high-class aerodynamic performance is a key element in reducing excessive noise. This provides environmental advantages related to noise pollution controls and offers increased comfort for riders. Train cars and connection points are designed to reduce pressure differences when traveling in and out of tunnels at high speeds.

The German Design Award is the German Design Council’s international premium prize. It is bestowed upon high-grade products, product and communication design projects, design celebrities and upcoming talents, all of whom are trailblazing in their own special way on the German and international design scene.


“High speed trains offer passengers an attractive alternative to motorways and medium distance air travel because of quick boarding and travelling comfort,” said Michael Sohn, Teamleader Industrial Design, ZEFIRO project, Bombardier Transportation. “Our modern ZEFIRO trains offer some of the most exciting and innovative technology found in transport, inspiring the imagination of passengers across the globe.”

The train’s design draws on Bombardier’s long-term expertise in train specific aerodynamic research. As well as being extremely energy efficient, the train’s shaping of windows, lights, splitlines and graphics creates a distinctive appearance that sets new standards in the railway industry for sustainable transportation and aesthetic quality.

The unique aerodynamic design of the ZEFIRO train family leads to superior cross wind stability, aerodynamic drag and pressure pulses. Bombardier is the first company in Europe to develop and apply an aluminum carbody for driving cars as well as trailer cars in the high speed segment, resulting in reduced weight and lower track wear as well as full compliance with stringent safety requirements. Bombardier’s UK-based Centre of Excellence for aluminum carbody design, in Derby, was involved in the development of the technology.

Other innovative developments include the BOMBARDIER EBI Drive 50 Driver Assistance System and Bombardier’s Thermo Efficient Climatization System. These and other energy saving measures mean that ZEFIRO trains boast the lowest energy consumption per seat of any VHS train. All of Bombardier’s expertise and experience gained from building more than 850 high and VHS trains in the past two decades has been invested in the development of this next generation vehicle.