Assembly of a fleet of 200 km/h trainsets for Chinese Railways has started in the Savigliano factory of Alstom Transport

BODYSHELLS for the first of 60 eight-car Type CA250 EMUs destined for 200 km/h services on Chinese Railways are being fabricated at Alstom's production plant at Savigliano in northern Italy. Designed for 25 kV 50Hz operation, the trains are likely to be used on the main line from Beijing to Qingdao.

Under a contract signed on October 10 2004, Alstom will supply three complete trainsets and six in completely knocked-down form. The other 51 will be assembled in China under technology transfer arrangements that provide for 65% of equipment in the last batch of trains to be locally sourced - Alstom has agreed to transfer to Chinese suppliers seven key technologies identified by China's Ministry of Railways.

Bodyshells of the locally-built trains will be assembled by CRC in Changchun, where fitting out, bogie fabrication and testing will take place. Sifang in Qingdao will supply the traction control and train control monitoring systems, while Yongji in X'ian will provide traction motors, traction power modules, traction and auxiliary converters and battery chargers.

In many respects the CA250 is a Pendolino derivative, but like the S-104 Lanzaderas trains supplied to Renfe Operadora, the trains will not be fitted with body tilting. Bogies with secondary air suspension are similar to those being supplied for a second build of 20 S-104 trainsets, and bodyshells are developed from those on the 1524mm gauge SM3 tilting trains for VR in Finland. The traction motors and train control monitoring system are similar to those used on the Trenitalia and Cisalpino Pendolino trains currently rolling off the Savigliano production line.

Three of the eight cars in each CA250 set will be trailers, the other five having one axle of each bogie powered from a traction motor slung under the body with a cardan shaft drive, a practice that is standard on Pendolino trainsets. Auxiliaries are integrated with the main traction equipment, which uses water-cooled IGBT technology. Average starting acceleration is 0·5 m/s2.

The trains will operate in temperatures ranging from -25°C to +40°C; climate control equipment includes full air-conditioning from Merak.

The first train is due to be delivered in late 2006 or early 2007.

Principal data of CA250 EMUs for Chinese Railways

Gauge mm 1435

Formation MMTMTTMM

Power supply 25 kV 50Hz

Overall width mm 3200

Internal height mm 2285

Floor height mm 1270

Distance between bogie centres mm 19000

Bogie wheelbase mm 2700

Wheel diameter (new/used) mm 890/810

Maximum speed km/h 200

Maximum axleload tonnes 17

Loaded weight (estimate) tonnes 492

Starting tractive effort kN 302

Nominal power rating kW 5500

Seats 622 + 1 wheelchair

  • CAPTION: Fig 1. Car 6 of the CA250 EMU design is a buffet trailer with pantograph and transformer; Cars 7 and 8 are both powered, offering second class and first class accommodation respectively
  • CAPTION: The first bodyshell for three complete EMUs that Alstom is supplying to China under a contract for 60 trains has been completed at Savigliano