Realising sustainable mobility
Bombardier Transportation Sweden is committed to supporting some of the country’s largest rail infrastructure programmes through constantly developing innovative solutions that create substantial benefits for operators, passengers, and the environment
The Nordics is the fastest growing region for the Bombardier Transportation family. Keeping pace, the mobility solutions provider boasts new leadership and a new organisational set-up focused on getting closer to customers and meeting their specific transportation needs. The changes reflect Bombardier Transportation’s determination to lead by example and differentiate from the rest by providing products and services that give the very best performance. In the meantime, the company is keen on maintaining its innovative spirit, remaining curious as to what lies around the corner and introducing the latest modern practices into the public transport network of the four Nordic countries – Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland.
Spearheaded by the new Head of Nordics Region and Managing Director Sweden, Anna Höjer, who joined in 2018, Bombardier Transportation has entered a new phase of its operation in this region. In it, the division will be more closely integrated with the wider Bombardier Group – the world’s leading manufacturer of planes and trains, so that it can effectively implement the latter’s global transformation programme in the Scandinavian region and strengthen its position as a world-class company fit for the future.
Discussing the transformation initiatives undertaken by Bombardier, is Anna herself: “Some of the principal measures of the process involve leveraging key resources across the company, with specific focus on advanced technology, digitalisation, and design engineering skills, as well as seizing growth opportunities and improving operating performance and productivity to achieve best-in-class quality of our work. We operate in very competitive markets, so we have to be a leader in cost and productivity, in order to succeed. In the short-term, becoming more efficient involves some targeted restructuring to lower the cost base and increase productivity.
“Bombardier Transportation is a core business, which will benefit strongly from the transformations that will see it operate in a narrower collaboration with the group,” she comments. “To give you a few examples, the division will now have greater access to complex engineering capabilities and best practices from the aerospace side of the business. Also, we will establish a flatter management structure, more modern information, and streamlined processes, as well as open a new Advanced Technology office that will enhance the smart digital industry transformation.”
Since early 2018, Bombardier Transportation has established a new dimension across the organisation through a more local approach to its key markets. Its goal is to play a genuine role in the regional ecosystem and to contribute efficiently and sustainably to society by offering and delivering what is best for travellers.
“The governments of Nordic countries are opening up their rail markets and prioritising investments in infrastructure,” Anna states. “For example, in 2018 the Swedish government announced its national plan for infrastructure development for the 2018-2029 period, declaring its ambition to improve the punctuality of trains throughout the country, thus encouraging more people to commute sustainably. The investment plan amounts to SEK 700 billion (approximately £59 billion) and is the largest railway investment in modern times, which once again highlights the significance of the scheme.”
Bombardier’s vast experience in Sweden spans over 140 years, during which time the company has been honing its skills in building trains and rail systems adapted to the Nordic climate. “In particular, we have garnered 20 years of experience in intercity trains with more than 4000 cars produced, boasting optimised LCC, high reliability, and maximum speeds from 160 km/h to 200 km/h,” Anna points out, adding that the deep understanding the business has developed of how it should meet specific mobility requirements, makes Bombardier a trustworthy partner to the Nordic rail industry.
In line with the Swedish government’s drive for more sustainable mobility, Bombardier Transportation has repeatedly broken new ground in the field with its ingenious solutions. Anna gives an example: “In 2017, we embarked on a ground-breaking project in Sweden with our local partners – Stockholm County Council, MTR Tech, the Swedish Energy Agency, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and RISE / Acreo – that led to the further development of our energy-saving MITRAC traction convertor 1500. Featuring silicon carbide technology, the propulsion solution completed successful trials on a BOMBARDIER MOVIA C20 train on the Stockholm Metro’s Green Line between December 2017 and March 2018. The results of the trials showed up to 35 per cent reduction in energy consumption, 19 dB lower noise emissions, a 51 per cent reduction in size, and 22 per cent less weight for the propulsion system.
“Furthermore, Bombardier launched a new battery-operated train solution in Berlin last September. Emission-free, energy-efficient, and low-noise, the train charges its batteries from the overhead line while running. The current prototype is the BOMBARDIER TALENT 3 electro-hybrid train and is a huge step forward and the epitome of innovation, being equipped with four BOMBARDIER MITRAC traction batteries. This year, Deutsche Bahn (DB) will start a twelve-month trial run with passengers with this prototype in the Alb-Lake Constance region.
“Electro-hybrid trains, also known as bimodal, are an exciting development for those rail operators with non-electrified railway lines. Bombardier is dedicated to bringing these zero-emission trains to the Nordic market with the BOMBARDIER ZEFIRO Express battery-electric multiple unit (BEMU) as an innovative bi-mode intercity solution for the region.”
Over the years, Sweden has established itself as a global hub for signalling engineering and Bombardier’s excellence in the realm is a convincing testimony to the company’s abilities in this competitive market. Two years ago, it became the first and only Swedish supplier to be granted an official approval for its European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) Level 2 technology, thus verifying that the BOMBARDIER INTERFLO 450 wayside solution meets the required national and European technical and safety regulations. In the time since, Bombardier commissioned the first ERTMS Level 2 worldwide and the solution is now being used in 26 countries.
“It is the most modern programme for ERTMS in the market, applying next-generation technology to signalling and allowing for modular design that can be easily integrated with new and existing lines,” Anna explains. “The proven INTERFLO 450 ERTMS Level 2 solution provides radio-based, automatic train protection for mainline rail operations. It can optimise higher-speed operation and supports network interoperability, while reducing maintenance costs.”
Recently, Bombardier was awarded a landmark order for signalling upgrade on the Malmbanan railway running between Sweden and Norway. The project will provide the company with the opportunity to showcase the latest version of the ERTMS Level 2 software called Baseline 3 Release 2 (BL3 R2). “This type of signalling technology will become the standard in Europe in 2019 and we are the first supplier to bring it to the Swedish rail market,” Anna enthuses. “The new system will be installed on sections of the railway as the first step of the Trafikverket’s modernisation programme in the country and will be developed and delivered by our Rail Control Solutions sites renowned internationally for their R&D. Malmbanan is an important mine-to-port link between Sweden and Norway, used by LKAB to transport iron ore products with its fleet of 17 IORE locomotives, also supplied by Bombardier,” she adds.
Throughout 2019, Bombardier Transportation will evidently have its fingers in many pies, as the company prepares to deliver a multitude of projects across the whole of Sweden. Anna delineates some of the key schemes the entity is working on: “Forty FLEXITY trams with Vossloh Kiepe electrical equipment for Göteborgs Spårvägar will start deliveries in the spring, with the option for 30+30 extra trams to be supplied in the future. In addition, we are executing a mid-life upgrade programme for the 271-strong three-car MOVIA Metro C20 fleet for Stockholm’s public transport authority. We are also delivering 96 new four-car MOVIA C30 trains to the authority that should start service in the summer. We are also well underway with the 45 ZEFIRO Express trains ordered last year by Swedish operator Västtrafik, which comes with an important option for 55 additional trains.”
She added: “On top of the projects for new trains and trams, we also have our ‘bread and butter’ businesses in Sweden supplying equipment for rolling stock and signalling systems for both home and international markets, as well as our important services and maintenance facilities at strategic locations across the country.
“Although we have already built a good order backlog, we want to continue growing it this year and we are fully focused on delivering the current projects to the highest levels of quality and safety. For this, we need the right people, skills, and capabilities, so, there will be an increased emphasis on attracting great recruits to the company and maintaining high morale. This will, in turn, help us achieve our overreaching mission of supporting the Government’s efforts to provide better public transport – one that leads to sustainable economic growth, contributes to a sustainable society, and creates worthwhile employment.”
Finally, Anna reflects on her first year as Managing Director, describing it as “rewarding”, and once more reiterating the tenets on which Bombardier Transportation is founded. “With our commitment to be a strategic partner to our customers across the rail industry, we want our key differentiator to be high performance levels. We are already delivering significant contracts across the Nordics – from rolling stock and rail control solutions to the long-term service and maintenance contracts, and we are proud of the confidence our clients have in us. Our team is fully focused on helping them succeed while growing our own business through innovation and the development of in-depth expertise locally.”