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Baltimore Light Rail Vehicles to Utilize ABB Traction Technology and Low Voltage Equipment in Major Retrofit

ABB Traction Technology and Low Voltage Equipment
Image Courtesy of ABB


ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has obtained a contract from Alstom Transport to supply new state of the art traction converters associated with the modernised train control management system (TCMS) and new electrical control panels for the overhaul of Baltimores entire fleet of fifty-three (53) light rail vehicles; they are operated by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA).

ABBs scope of supply includes the replacement of the existing traction equipment, using ABBs BORDLINE CC400 for propulsion with an integrated Battery Charger, and the supply of a new Train Control System (including both hardware and software). The traction system will offer higher reliability and higher energy efficiency, as well as a more comfortable ride for the passengers.

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In addition to the converters, ABB will design and supply new electrical distribution and control panels, including ABB low voltage components and high-speed circuit breakers. These new electrical panels also will improve reliability of the train operation, using modern components that have a successful service-proven history in the railroad environment.

The vehicles will be refurbished by Alstom in their facility in Hornel, NY. The supply of the traction converters from ABB will comply with the Buy America Act requirements, and the delivery of all the different equipment will be over a period of approximately four years; delivery will start in the fall of 2014.

ABB and Alstom Supply Baltimore Light Rail

ABB is proud to have been selected by Alstom to supply these essential elements of the propulsion and electrical controls for the Baltimore light rail vehicle overhaul project, says Chris Poynter, vice president and general manager, Discrete Automation and Motion Division, ABB. Our ability to engineer unique solutions, using our state-of-the art technologies, makes ABB a supplier of choice when it comes to Rail upgrade projects.

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The MTA light rail overhaul project will improve the safety, reliability, and service of the actual transportation system, which operates vehicles as old as 25 years and carry nearly 28,000 riders a day between downtown Baltimore, Hunt Valley and BWI Airport.

Alstom Transport is a promoter of sustainable mobility, Alstom Transport develops and markets the most complete range of systems, equipment and services in the railway sector. Alstom Transport manages entire transport systems, including rolling stock, signalling, the maintenance and modernisation, infrastructure, and offers turnkey solutions. Alstom Transport recorded sales of 5.5 billion euros in the fiscal year 2012-2013. Alstom Transport is present in over 60 countries and employs near 26,700 people.

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ABB is a world-leading independent supplier of innovative and reliable technologies to vehicle manufacturers, railway operators and system integrators. Its comprehensive offering includes rolling stock, infrastructure, and energy efficiency systems. The company has invested heavily in North America over the past three years, with acquisitions totalling nearly $11 billion. Its North American headquarters are in Cary, North Carolina. ABB employs 30,000 throughout this region.

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