Bombardier develops sustainable rail transport across the globe, fuelling innovative new safety solutions in the face of COVID-19
Writer: Marcus Kääpä | Project Manager: Thomas Turnbull
The railway represents one of the most iconic, classic, and modern forms of transport since the 19th century. From the earliest steam locomotives to the high-speed Shinkansen (bullet trains) of Japan, rail networks have marked the evolution of developing societies since their inception.
A critical form of both passenger and supply chain transportation, railways can be considered the veins and capillaries of nation’s body - pathways carrying vessels from start to finish and keeping the cycle of development alive.
In the Asia-Pacific region, Bombardier Transportation is one company that represents this continuous development. Bombardier exists as a company that provides reliable, safe, and sustainable transport available for a world of urban growth and digital change. The firm’s Australian branch strives to create holistic, high-quality mobility and transport solutions that anticipate the needs of the future, therefore maximising value for those who work alongside them, and the customers and passengers that choose to travel via the company’s transport.
Bombardier provides solutions for various forms of rail transport, such as metro, tram and light rail, commuter, people mover, and monorail trains, as well as e-mobility and battery technology.
Combining the latest technology, high performance, and the people-centric ideals, Bombardier Australia manages to bring to the fore transportation that serves to benefit all those involved, including the environment.
Safety and Innovation
Since the emergence and spread of COVID-19, rail transport providers have seen a dramatic decline in passenger numbers. The pandemic has disrupted the jobs and lives of countless people, such as transport operators who have suffered substantial financial implications.
The latter half of 2020 saw people adapting to the impacts of COVID, emerging from government-imposed lockdowns, and resuming daily life (although not in the same way) such as returning to work. In order to restart the lifeblood of national economies and get communities moving once more, it was (and still is) essential for the public to feel safe and protected while taking to public transport such as the railway.
Bombardier places safety as a paramount importance in its operations. The company strives to protect its customers, employees, and partners against the effects of the pandemic. As a top priority, Bombardier continues to develop solutions to best deal with and exceed beyond the evolving challenges that exist.
Increased urbanisation and demands for comfort are balanced with the operators’ responsibility to keep passengers moving and maintaining safety.
In light of this, Bombardier’s solutions maintain social distancing utilising adjustable vehicle layouts, and smart tools for passenger flow and crowd control. An aspect of the transport solution is to reinforce safety from the virus in the form of increased sanitation measures, innovative surface treatments, to install contactless interfaces, and the inclusion of filters to reduce the presence of harmful pathogens from within the vehicle’s internal atmosphere.
Bombardier’s antiviral filters for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HAVC) systems are smart and efficient solutions for present issues surrounding COVID-19 in the rail transportation sector. The systems are quick and easy to install, and safe in operation, making them ideal for newly designed trains and retrofitting existing fleets of vehicles. These filters capture and eliminate the virus (with a 99.9 percent efficiency rate) making the company’s air filtration solution unique in the market.
These are just some of Bombardier’s latest solutions that give passengers the confidence they need to continue choosing reliable, safe, and sustainable rail travel as their preferred mode of transport for their daily commutes, as well as long-distance travelling. At the same time, the company is raising the bar on rail safety without compromising on efficiency, performance or the premium travel experience that passengers have come to expect from our vehicles, systems and services.
Real-time cloud-based solutions
Bombardier’s passenger flow and crowd-control solution equips operators with the necessary information to make informed decisions about their fleet’s operation.
This removes the guesswork and estimation that is found traditionally in fleet management, through the systematic consolidation and analysing of key information from a variety of sources. These sources include rail vehicles, station infrastructure, and ticketing and open-source data, giving rail operators both important data and sight of the larger picture – both of which they need to deal with and stay ahead of challenges in logistical and functional management.
Passenger experience becomes another vital addition to data collection for the operators. Leveraging this data, operators are able to provide real-time info regarding capacity, arrivals, and departures back to the passengers so that individuals can manage their own social distancing and travel comfortably by moving to less crowded cars, or by choosing alternative routes.
Moving with battery power
An increasing number of railway companies and governments are seeking clean alternatives to diesel traction. Bombardier’s battery technology is the perfect solution for electromobility on non-electrified lines, replacing diesel trains with battery-powered vehicles.
Bombardier’s MITRAC Pulse traction batteries are an innovative solution for environmentally friendly mobility and can be applied to various trains, from APMs, to commuter and regional, to high-speed. With battery technology, trains can operate catenary-free for distances up to 100 kilometres.
One of its earliest battery projects was for Nanjing, China, in 2013. In partnership with one of its Chinese joint ventures, it won a contract to deliver 15 catenary-free low-floor trams. With its MITRAC traction batteries, Nanjing’s trams can operate without overhead cables on 90 percent of its lines, re-charging seamlessly during regular passenger operation.
Its most recent battery project is the TALENT-3 battery-electric multiple unit (BEMU), the first modern regional battery-powered train to enter passenger service in Europe. The battery train is emission-free and sets the standards for smart mobility, with a highly efficient propulsion system and a high degree of recyclability.
This battery project won the Brandenburg innovation award in November 2018 for its contribution towards environmentally friendly mobility.
Now part of ALSTOM, Bombardier continues its sustainable and safety-centric solutions for rail transport across the globe, driving forward an increasingly innovative future.