SINCE being taken over by Oakdale Ltd, an international investment company based in Cyprus, Ganz-Hunslet has been striving to cope with a dearth of orders from its traditional customer, Hungarian State Railways, by revamping its product range and seeking more export business. Oakdale acquired Hungary’s principal rolling stock manufacturer from Jenbacher Transportsysteme of Austria, which had come to own the company through purchasing its British parent Telfos Holdings.

In 1996, Ganz-Hunslet recorded a net profit of HUF146m on a turnover of HF4·4bn. At the start of 1997 the company had an order backlog of HF5bn, of which 70% was for export.

This backlog included the supply of 140 bogies to Union Carriage & Wagon of South Africa for a fleet of 44 Komuter EMUs ordered by KTMB of Malaysia (RG 5.97 p281). An additional contract was later signed for the supply of 40 additional bogies. By late 1997 100 bogies had been delivered, and since the middle of that year Ganz-Hunslet has been at work supplying bogies directly to KTMB for refurbished passenger coaches.

In mid-1996 Ganz-Hunslet signed a joint venture contract with Kris Heavy Engineering & Construction of Malaysia for the development of the country’s railway industry. This included assistance in upgrading eight railbus sets previously supplied to KTMB, and co-ordinating Malaysian investment in the rebuilding of Bosnia & Hercegovina Railways.

As bogie supplier, Ganz-Hunslet recently joined with Dunakeszi Wagon Manufacturing & Repair Ltd, part-owned by Adtranz, to bid for a passenger coach order from Hellenic Railways Organisation. Three-car commuter trainsets have been offered to Trenes de Buenos Aires of Argentina, where Ganz-Hunslet is participating with Adtranz in a project to refurbish Transandino passenger coaches.

In the first quarter of 1997 Ganz-Hunslet received an order worth HF1bn from Siemens SGP of Austria, to supply roofs, car ends and underframes for double-deck coaches ordered by Austrian Federal Railways. Ganz-Hunslet hopes that this will lead to further collaborative ventures in the long-term. For Adtranz, Ganz-Hunslet is producing 30 sets of twin sliding-door wagons and has recently signed a DM10m contract to supply 200 coil wagons, following a similar order for 72.

Recent domestic contracts include the supply of 10 articulated trams to Debrecen, and Ganz-Hunslet is hopeful that it can beat competition from other suppliers including CKD to secure an order to refurbish cars for Budapest Transport (BKV). This is an important contract, as it could act as a foot in the door for a subsequent, expected tender to supply rolling stock for Line 4 of the Budapest metro, expected to open in 2002-04 (RG 10.07 p645).

As prime contractor, Ganz Ansaldo is currently refurbishing the electrical equipment on 30 BKV articulated tramcars, with Ganz-Hunslet performing mechanical work as subcontractor. A further 30 units may follow, and the Debrecen contract has prompted interest from other tram systems in Hungary.

Ganz-Hunslet has supplied bogies for a prototype 200 km/h EMU built by Dunakeszi for MAV, and for Japanese wagons being refurbished by Dunakeszi. In conjunction with steel maker Dunaferr, Ganz-Hunslet is modifying ex-MAV wagons for the transport of coils by fitting them with sliding roofs. o

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