China to export 20 Locomotives to Germany

BEIJING: China’s CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co Ltd has signed a framework agreement with Germany’s Deutsche Bahn to export 20 hybrid shunting locomotives, the first time such machinery has been exported to the manufacturing giant.

A deal involving the first batch of four locomotives was also signed last week, according to a statement released by the Chinese company on its official WeChat account on Saturday.

CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive and Deutsche Bahn jointly developed the new type of hybrid shunting locomotive in 2017. The first batch of locomotives have been built and will soon be shipped to Hamburg, Germany, the statement reads.

The hybrid shunting locomotives will run on Germany’s railway network in accordance with local standards at speeds up to 100 kilometers per hour, said the company’s Saturday statement.

“Germany is planning to upgrade its infrastructure, and railways are a focus in the new financial year,” Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Sunday.

The deal shows China holds advantages in terms of both quality and pricing, Cui said.

China’s high technological standards for electric and internal combustion locomotives and lower cost are reasons behind the deal, according to Sun Zhang, a railway expert and professor at Shanghai Tongji University.

This is the first time China’s locomotives have been exported to Germany, marking recognition of China’s railway products, said the company.

Germany is not the only destination in Europe for China’s railway products. According to the statement, CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive has exported electric locomotives to Serbia, shunting locomotives to Austria, bullet trains to Czech.

Sun noted that foreign railway markets have unique requirements making it inefficient for them to self-develop railway products that only meet their needs. China’s vast experience and huge railway network allows it to make adjustments to meet the needs of most foreign railways, Sun told the Global Times.

Exporting railway technologies is crucial to the Belt and Road initiative as different countries are in need of different railway technologies, according to Sun.

China’s growing expertise in infrastructure construction also enables domestic companies to play a bigger role in regions previously dominated by foreign enterprises.

An example of China’s ability to innovate are the high-altitude locomotives domestically developed by CRRC Dalian Co Ltd, which are now in service on the Golmud-Lhasa Railway on western China’s Qinghai-Tibet plateau, news website reported Friday.

The Golmud-Lhasa Railway plans to replace all imported locomotives with domestic ones in the future, said the website.