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Knorr-Bremse supplies systems to Hyundai Rotem for its Next Generation Tram

Knorr-Bremse will equip more than 200 Hyundai Rotem trams with braking systems, entrance systems and air conditioning systems | © Hyundai Rotem

Knorr-Bremse has expanded its longstanding cooperative venture with Hyundai Rotem Company (HRC). Under the terms of a recently signed framework agreement with a contract value in the mid-double-digit million-euro range, Knorr-Bremse will for the first time supply all three key subsystems for this type of HRC light rail vehicle. Starting in 2023 and continuing until at least 2028, Knorr-Bremse will equip more than 200 LRVs with braking, entrance and climate control (HVAC) systems. The LRVs are destined for use in multiple rail markets around the world. 

“Knorr-Bremse is geared towards providing future-driven solutions for local mass transit services that address the global megatrends of urbanization and mobility,” explains Dr. Jürgen Wilder, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG and responsible for the Rail Vehicle Systems division. “South Korea, with its reputation as an innovation hub and trendsetter in modern transportation, is a highly relevant market for Knorr-Bremse. We are delighted to have won HRC’s trust once again. Apart from the purely technical advantages, this framework agreement provides opportunities for further synergies that will benefit both companies in the long term.”

The light rail vehicles are to be applied in rail transport markets worldwide – the picture shows the prototype of the fuel cell tram of Hyundai Rotem | © Hyundai Rotem

Knorr-Bremse will supply its field-proven and robust electro-hydraulic braking systems, including sanding systems and magnetic track brakes. The reliable, weight-optimized, low-maintenance entrance systems will be supplied by Knorr-Bremse’s brand IFE, the global market leader for rail vehicle entrance systems, while the modular, scalable, energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems will come from Merak, Knorr-Bremse’s brand for integrated climate control solutions. The agreement follows previous successful cooperative ventures between HRC and Knorr-Bremse in the tram segment, all utilizing Knorr-Bremse braking and entrance systems. The new agreement also includes contract extension options.

“The ability to combine a technically standardized portfolio of subsystems that is, however, flexible enough to adapt to specific local customer and market requirements, as well as the great teamwork and coordination between our own teams, were crucial factors in achieving this agreement,” comments Dr. Jonathan Paddison, Member of the Board of Directors of Knorr-Bremse Asia Pacific. “Specifically, our multi-system strategy allows us to leverage our networks and solutions to identify synergies that directly benefit our customers. In the case of Hyundai Rotem, this has enabled us to come to a combined agreement spanning three major subsystems. Knorr-Bremse is a leader in providing this kind of portfolio for this vehicle segment.”

This is what the seven-car 100% Hyundai Rotem low-floor trams for Edmonton, Canada, look like I | © Hyundai Rotem

Hyundai Rotem, a publicly listed South Korean enterprise, is a global heavy-industry company that produces, amongst other things, all kinds of rolling stock, high-speed trains, locomotives, catenary-free LRVs, metro trains and magnetic levitation (maglev) trains.

In Europe, Hyundai Rotem is currently supplying a total of 123 low-floor trams to Warszawa Tramway (Warsaw, Poland). Last December, the company also won a contract to supply 40 low-floor trams in Edmonton, Canada. For almost two years, Hyundai Rotem has also been working on concepts for fuel cell trams, which are being developed and tested in Ulsan, South Korea. At the beginning of January 2022, a memorandum of understanding was signed with the Egyptian infrastructure company Orascom Construction and the French Colas Rail for the construction of a hydrogen tram in the new Egyptian capital (New Administrative Capital/ NAC). Rotem says it sees the hydrogen tram as an alternative to trams with energy storage systems because the manufacturer sees benefits in terms of weight and vehicle costs for a tram with a fuel cell in comparison to energy storages. More information is available here.

Artist’s impression of the new fuel cell tram, which Hyundai Rotem apparently now wants to market worldwide I © Hyundai Rotem

Knorr-Bremse (ISIN: DE000KBX1006, ticker symbol: KBX) is the global market leader in braking systems and other systems for rail and commercial vehicles. Knorr-Bremse products make a significant contribution to greater safety and energy efficiency on rails and roads worldwide. Around 30,500 employees at over 100 locations in more than 30 countries are committed with competence and motivation to satisfying customers worldwide with products and services. In 2021, Knorr-Bremse generated global sales of EUR 6.7 billion in its two business divisions. For more than 115 years, the company has been driving developments in mobility and transportation technologies as an innovator in its industries and has a head start in the field of connected systems solutions. Knorr-Bremse is one of the most successful German industrial groups and benefits from the important global megatrends: urbanization, sustainability, digitalization and mobility.

Source: Knorr Bremse/ UTM

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