In 2010, Kazakhstan State Railways (KTZ) has embarked on a huge modernization program to rehabilitate and expand its extensive rail network by improving its infrastructure and investing in new rolling stock.
Rail is by far the most important type of transportation in this vast and strategically located country. The combination of a large land mass, low population density, vast natural resources, and ‘crossroads’ location between China, Europe, Russia and Central Asia, all combine to make rail vital to the country’s economy and transportation network.
In 2011, Alstom ordered 40 traction transformers that will power the first batch of 20 twin-unit freight locomotives that is supplying KTZ as part of a larger order for 95 single-unit passenger locomotives and 200 twin-unit freight locomotives.
The Alstom freight locomotives are among the most powerful in the world. They are capable of hauling 9,000 metric tons of freight at speeds of up 120 km/h and in extreme winter temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius.
ABB traction transformers are integral to this capability. They are compact, lightweight and exceptionally reliable, as they are often a non-redundant traction component. ABB's traction transformer for the Alstom's KZ8A freight locomotive is under-frame mounted, with the oil expansion tank installed separately in the machine room.
Engineered for very harsh and demanding environments, the transformers are designed to power heavy freight loads over long distances of more than 1,000 km and on tracks with many challenges - steep profiles, short curve radii, excessive wear, voltage drops in long sections, and extreme low and high temperatures.
Deliveries began end of 2011.