Marcopolo Rail expands Caxias do Sul plant (photo Marcopolo Rail) (3)

BRAZIL: As part of an expansion of its range, rolling stock supplier Marcopolo Rail has increased the production capacity at its Caxias do Sul plant with the addition of a 2 600 m² hall, the manufacturer announced on June 5.

The workshop features gantries and overhead cranes to support the production of Marcopolo’s range of lightweight railcars. The expanded plant will support its aim of delivering 100% domestic content for the Brazilian and wider Latin American market as well as open up possibilities to ‘develop projects with strategic partners’ in vehicle refurbishment, Marcopolo Rail says.

Meanwhile, the company announced at a light rail summit in São Paulo on May 16 that it is developing its Prosper Hybrid battery-diesel multiple-unit for use on suburban, regional and medium-distance passenger services. These trainsets would also be manufactured in the new workshop at Caxias do Sul.

The Prosper Hybrid will be equipped with a bespoke electric drivetrain which can be used as a generator, lithium-ion batteries, and a traction converter. This will support tri-mode operation, using diesel power, solely battery traction or a blend of the two. The operating modes can change according to the characteristics of the alignment. The diesel powerpack is to be fitted with exhaust gas after-treatment.

During braking, kinetic energy is converted into electric power and stored in the battery; it can be reused for acceleration and operation in fully electric mode.

Marcopolo Rail says it is to train engineering personnel to develop ‘increasingly personalised’ railway vehicles for the Brazilian market.

‘With the new facilities and qualified workforce, we will develop products of the highest quality and we are also keen to establish strategic partnerships in the market’, says Petras Amaral Santos, Managing Director of Marcopolo Rail.