ABB has been awarded a USD$150 million contract in February 2024 to supply complete traction packages, as well as engineering and service support for each of the 65 six-car passenger trains to be delivered by the Queensland Train Manufacturing Program (QTMP) in Australia

As part of the contract, which was awarded by Hyundai Rotem Company (Korea), ABB will also establish a Traction Center of Excellence to support with the production and assembly of the traction packages. Hyundai Rotem Company are a joint venture partner with Downer EDI Rail Pty Ltd, the country’s leading provider of through-life asset management for passenger rollingstock.

Downer EDI Rail Pty Ltd was awarded a contract by the Queensland Government to manufacture 65 new electric multiple units (EMUs), a type of train that has multiple carriages or cars, each with its own electric propulsion system. All 65 of these advanced passenger trains are expected to be fully operational by 2032, in time for the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games. They will be deployed across the Southeast Queensland rail network, including the Cross River Rail, a new rail line in Brisbane. The QTMP will also support Queensland’s population and economic growth with investment in new manufacturing facilities and supporting more than 1,300 jobs in construction, manufacturing and operation over the life of the program.

Edgar Keller, President of ABB’s Traction Division, said: ‘ABB is honored to play a pivotal role in the Queensland Train Manufacturing Program, delivering cutting-edge technology that propels Australia’s rail infrastructure into a new era. This transformative project not only stands as a testament to our dedication to sustainable and efficient rail networks but also reflects our commitment to supporting local markets and employment opportunities in Australia and New Zealand, to create value through our domain and technology expertise.’

ABB’s traction converters use patented multilevel converter topology. This technology, in conjunction with semiconductor advancements, delivers the most efficient traction chain on the market. This offers reduced operating costs, a smaller environmental footprint, lower audible noise and reduced mechanical stress.

To support the project, ABB is establishing a local Traction Center of Excellence, which will include a traction converter, traction motor and battery service centre, in Maryborough, Queensland. With the transfer of production of traction converters and traction motors to Australia, ABB is not only creating new job opportunities, but is also helping to develop the local industry’s knowledge around traction systems which is one of the most complex sub-systems of trains. Furthermore, the establishment of the new facility will also ensure that customers of ABB in Australia and New Zealand are better served.

ABB is a technology leader in electrification and automation, enabling a more sustainable and resource-efficient future. The company’s solutions connect engineering know-how and software to optimize how things are manufactured, moved, powered and operated. Building on over 140 years of excellence, ABB’s more than 105,000 employees are committed to driving innovations that accelerate industrial transformation.