FURTHER rationalisation of rail activities was announced in Wien on March 11 by the President of Siemens Verkehrstechnik Dr Wolfram Martinsen. Although the division’s results improved from a DM120m loss in 1994-95 to a DM19m profit in 1995-96, on constant turnover of around DM4·3bn, he forecast losses of around DM80m for the next two years before a return to profitability by 2000.

Orders grew to a record DM6·5bn last year, with exports of DM3·4bn. However, profits have been hit by the Adtranz merger and low prices negotiated by German Railway for its recent orders. Martinsen also highlighted the growing trend towards turnkey contracts, which often involved extensive outlay before any returns.

Siemens has consolidated its rolling stock work into ’centres of competence’: aluminium vehicles at Uerdingen, steel-bodied coaches at SGP in Wien, trams and LRVs at Düsseldorf, diesel locos at Kiel, electric locos at Krauss Maffei in München, and bogies at Graz. The VT1 and VT2 signalling and control systems businesses at Braunschweig have been refocussed on the main line and urban markets respectively. Power supply (VT3) is now being trimmed, with non-rail domestic work spun off to a management buy-out on March 1 and exports transferred to another Siemens company from April 1. Austrian air-conditioning supplier Alex Friedmann is one of several subsidiaries to be sold soon.

With an eye to growth in southeast Asia and North America, Siemens is strengthening its Berlin-based Global Turnkey Systems & Services division. A joint venture signalling company has been formed in Xian, China, and a 50:50 joint venture with Matra Transport will market metro automation equipment.

  • Martinsen revealed that he had fired the management of the Kiel diesel engine business, after problems with the 18 Class Di6 Co-Cos for Norwegian State Railways. Most have now been delivered following extensive rectification work, which resulted in a DM68m loss on the order. o

    CAPTION: The prototype Siemens/ Krauss Maffei Class 152 electric freight loco for DBCargo was the first loco to be trialled on Siemens’ newly-completed DM100m test ring at Wildenrath, starting a test programme on March 6 in company with the Class 127 EuroSprinter demonstrator