Siemens reveals New Engine for Russia’s Maglev High-Speed Rail Project

Siemens Russia has successful finished testing a new type of engine for magnetic levitation trains in Russia

Siemens Russia has successfully tested a unique new engine for high-speed trains in Russia. Russian Railways (RZD) told that the new engines will be installed in maglev (magnetic levitation) next-generation high-speed trains, and will use at least three percent less energy in comparison with ordinary induction motors.

“This efficiency will be reflected in the cost of tickets for our passengers,” spokeswoman Valentina Gapanovicha said.

The new engine was tested in a “Sapsan” high-speed bullet train; Jorg Libsher, head of Siemens Russia, told Izvestiya.

Siemens Russia MegLevSiemens Velaro trains, which have a top speed of 250 km/h, have been running between Moscow to St. Petersburg since 2009. In Russia they are known as “Sapsan” (peregrine falcon) trains, and also run between the capital and the Volga city of Nizhniy Novgorod.

High-speed trains in Russia also run between St. Petersburg and Helsinki, where RZD and Finnish Railways introduced “Allegro” trains manufactured by the French company Alstom in 2010.

High-speed trains also run in Sochi and several other regions.

“We have finished testing of the new engine. Now we are going to take the engines out of the Sapsan and take them to the laboratory, completely disassemble them and analyze their state after one year of operation. This will take two to three months,” he said.

Libsher said that the engine will not replace those currently used in the Sapsan trains, but are intended for a new high-speed train line planned for construction between Moscow and Kazan, capital of the Republic of Tatarstan.

Siemens Russia MegLev in WorkshopThe new 770 km train line will enable new high-speed trains to travel at speeds of up to 400 km/h, and is set to become part of an international high-speed train line that eventually continues to Beijing.

According to Izvestiya, Russian Railways is the main shareholder in a consortium currently seeking tenders for its construction, and the China Development Bank is proposing to join the consortium and provide a loan of 400 billion rubles ($6.2 billion) for its construction.

“We are not considering replacing the Sapsan engines. We see this as a good project for trains that are capable of accelerating to speeds of over 300 km/h, a new model of train on permanent magnets for which a new kind of engine is really necessary.”

“Regarding the Moscow-Kazan high-speed rail project, of course it won’t be today’s Sapsan, it will be Sapsan 2016, a new generation,” Libsher said.

Maglev trains are currently used in Japan, South Korea and China. Shanghai is home to the world’s fastest commercial maglev train, which was built by a joint venture between Siemens and ThyssenKrupp. It connects the Shanghai Metro with Shanghai Pudong International Airport at a top speed of 430km/h.



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