ABB wins $70 million order to modernize locomotives for Swiss Railways SBB

New generation of traction converters will improve energy efficiency of the modernized locomotive fleet and follows large fleet modernization orders in Germany and Sweden

Zurich, Switzerland, September 23, 2014 - ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order and order options of about $70 million to supply SBB with the latest generation of traction converters.

"This is very good news for ABB and good news for our Swiss operations. This order builds on our long standing excellent relationship with SBB and our expertise as the supplier of choice to modernize train fleets. Our rail business has had a very good year so far," said Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB.

Re460 locomotive _Courtesy of SBB
Re460 locomotive _Courtesy of SBB

SBB will invest a total of around CHF230 million in a comprehensive modernization program to make its locomotive fleet of the type RE 460 more energy efficient, reliable and to extend the life span of the fleet by another 20 years. The trains were built in the early 90's.The energy savings of the modernized fleet is expected to amount to yearly 27 gigawatt-hours. This corresponds to the electricity consumption of 6'750 Swiss households.

ABB will engineer and supply 202 water-cooled IGBT (insulated-gate bipolar transistors), traction converters of the latest generation, which ABB develops and produces in Turgi, Switzerland. The order includes the option to supply further 38 traction converters.

Compact Converter BORDLINE® CC 1500
Compact Converter BORDLINE® CC 1500

The first retrofitted locomotive will be delivered in late 2015. After successful testing and evaluation, the remainder of the locomotives will be built incrementally through the end of 2021.

ABB has a long history of providing innovative and energy-efficient technologies to the rail sector, manufacturing and servicing all components and sub-systems used in urban, intercity and high-speed networks, both for rail infrastructure and for rolling stock. With a vast global installed base, ABB also provides life cycle service support, including maintenance and retrofits.

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility, industry, and transport and infrastructure customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in roughly 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.


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