ABB technology allows streetcars in Dallas and Detroit to move “off-wire”

ABB technology allows streetcars in Dallas and Detroit to move “off-wire”

ABB’s rail traction converter improves Brookville Equipment’s Liberty Modern Streetcars for access, reliability and energy efficiency; Highlights ABB’s promise of Power and Productivity for a Better World

Cary, NC, September 15, 2015 - ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, recently received contracts from Brookville Equipment to improve public transportation with its Liberty Modern Streetcar platform in two major American cities.


The first award is the result of an option order for two cars exercised by Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) authority after commissioning Brookville's new streetcars earlier this year. DART's new vehicles operate on the 1.6 mile Downtown-to-Oak Cliff line.

The second award is to equip six cars for the new M1-Rail project in Detroit, which is a 6.6 mile track on Woodward Avenue in the city's center and North End neighborhoods.

"The main innovation behind the design of the Liberty Modern Streetcar is its ability to manage off-wire operation. The streetcar will operate on battery on part of its route," said Marion Van Fosson, President of Brookville Equipment Corporation. "The strong engineering collaboration between Brookville and ABB's rail and traction team allows cities to benefit from efficient streetcar access to areas without overhead wires."

"For both contracts, ABB's scope of supply consists of traction converters BORDLINE® CC400, cooling units HEX30, as well as the AC traction motors," said Elvis Dzindo, Local Product Group Manager at ABB rail traction systems in Richmond, Virginia. "ABB satisfies the 'Buy America' requirements utilizing our U.S. based manufacturing facilities and engineering team."

Many cities have difficulty zoning for overhead wires. In these cases, the absence of overhead wires would restrict access of the streetcars. However in Dallas, ABB technology will allow the "off-wire" operation of the streetcars. In Detroit, the streetcars will be able to travel without the aid of an overhead catenary system (OCS) for 60-percent of the corridor.

"Because of its unique compactness and high flexibility, ABB's technology is becoming very popular in North America for streetcars and train/metro upgrade applications," says Daniel Simounet, Director of Transportation for ABB North America. "ABB is offering a well proven traction technology platform. Our standardized modular design concept makes it cost effective for customers to integrate and operate in a new vehicle or for the upgrade of existing fleets."

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

Brookville Equipment Corporation ( is a world-class American manufacturer of innovative powered transportation solutions for mining/tunnelling, rail freight and passenger transportation since 1918. Brookville products are custom designed to the highest engineering standards for quality, safety and environmental responsibility.

ABB is a world-leading independent supplier of innovative and reliable technologies to vehicles manufacturers, railway operators and system integrators. With a comprehensive offering for rolling stock and infrastructure, ABB also provides lifetime service support, including maintenance and retrofit.

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


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