Global boom in tramway systems generates international rail orders 3 minutes spent reading
Railways

Global boom in tramway systems generates international rail orders

Jürgen Schatz

What brings people together in many of the world's cities? The answer is grooved rails from voestalpine Schienen GmbH. Rails have already been shipped to Doha, Taipeh, Sydney and Constantine, and the demand for grooved rails continues to grow, with new orders on track.

With a global market share of over 50%, voestalpine Schienen GmbH is certainly the market and technology leader in the grooved rails sector. Over 50,000 tonnes of grooved rails with more than 20 different profiles, and some in heat treated HSH® quality, were produced for tramway systems around the world during the business year 2015/16 alone. This position is based, among other things, by outstanding customer benefits of the investments.

Global trend

It is not only European demand which is making the suburban traffic business segment increasingly important; overseas sales have also grown strongly in recent years. This is demonstrated by the most recent voestalpine Schienen GmbH tramway projects in Doha, Taipeh, Sydney and Constantine. The huge variety of profiles, the heat treated ultra-high strength HSH® grooved rails, and the flexibility which the company demonstrates have all resulted in large orders. These projects all share one thing in common: grooved rails with 54G2 profiles. This was the most frequently produced grooved rail profile in the BY 2015/16.

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Challenging climate in Qatar

With 5,000 tonnes of grooved rails, the light rail transit project in Doha, Qatar which operates using electric trains represents one of the largest orders of this type in the company’s entire history. Lusail, the brand new urban district currently under construction will be equipped with 46km of tram rails. A third of the rails have already been delivered with the remaining rails scheduled for delivery by 2018. Due to the particularly challenging climatic conditions in Qatar, the customer only trusted in high-quality grooved rails from voestalpine. The tramway system in Doha will operate with no overhead lines, with the current being drawn directly through the rails.

Heat treated for Taiwan

In 2016 voestalpine Schienen GmbH delivered the Tamhai Phase 1 project in Taipeh, Taiwan, with over 1,500 tonnes of grooved rails, the majority heat treated R340GHT grooved rails. It is likely that the technology leader will also be supplying rails for the planned extension to the two tramways (Phase 2) in Taipeh.

Expansion in Algeria

From 2009 to 2016, 14,000 tonnes of rails also travelled from Donawitz to Algeria, for Constantine, Mostaganem, Sétif, Ouargla and Sidi bel Abbès. This volume represents a total track length of

126 km. Here again the order called exclusively for 54G2 grooved rails. One tram route in Constantine will shortly be extended by 10km. The first stretch of the track, at 8.9km in length, started operating in 2013.

Successful Down Under

Customers in Australia are equally important to the Styria-based company. Here voestalpine Schienen GmbH has enjoyed a 100% market share in the light rail sector for over 20 years. In addition to fixed annual deliveries to Yarra Trams in Melbourne, voestalpine Schienen GmbH has also supplied projects for the cities of Sydney, Adelaide and the Gold Coast (Stage 1). Future orders for Canberra and the Gold Coast (Stage 2) appear likely. A light rail project is also in planning in Newcastle. Sales managers at the company are confident that global demand for grooved rails for use in suburban traffic will remain high in the future.

voestalpine Schienen GmbH website http://www.voestalpine.com/schienen

Mobility focus: http://www.voestalpine.com/focus

Jürgen Schatz