New generation trains running on existing track can easily combine higher speeds, lower energy consumption, reduced noise and lower costs. These are the findings reported by Swedish researchers in Stockholm today after concluding a four-year project, with Bombardier Transportation as one of three major partners.
The Grona Taget ("Green Train") research project is a collection of ideas, proposals and technical solutions aimed at making long distance and fast regional services more attractive to travellers and operators. Grona Taget is a fast electric tilting train - based on the Bombardier Regina vehicle - that not only maintains higher speeds than conventional trains on sections with curves but also 300 km/h or more on dedicated high speed lines.
The project was conducted in close cooperation between the Swedish Transport Administration, Bombardier, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and several other partners. In the report, the project team noted that the concept train had set a Swedish speed record of 303 km/h, but emphasized that the development programme was not a finished train model but should rather be seen as a smorgasbord of proposals and technical innovations adapted to Nordic conditions.
The concept offers operators and infrastructure managers advantages such as flexible train length, reliability and accessibility even in the demanding Nordic climate. It also reduces costs to ensure profitability in competitive markets, increases track-friendliness with less wear to track and wheels, enables high speeds on standard tracks and lowers noise levels compared to the current generation of trains. Aerodynamic design and more efficient motors which generate electricity when braking enable the Green Train to reduce power consumption by 30 to 35 per cent. Thanks to the Nordic track profiles, trains can be designed with greater width than existing trains, enabling more passenger space while maintaining comfort which means higher operational economy and, potentially, lower ticket prices.
"Through this cooperation between several partners, we have achieved results much quicker and with significantly higher quality and innovative scope than in conventional development projects," said Henrik Tengstrand, Director, Mainline and Metros Vehicle Performance Engineering and Bombardier's Project Director for Grona Taget.
The Grona Taget technology has been tested in trial runs over a total of 500,000 km in all weather conditions since 2005. Its development has involved a large part of the Swedish rail sector, including manufacturers, infrastructure companies, universities, train operators and research institutes. The findings will be made available to all rail industry companies and train manufacturers.