Hitachi Rail awarded Knorr-Bremse a contract to supply coupling systems to equip 46 metro trains designed for Milan under a EUR 168 million contract signed with ATM in 2022.
Starting in 2023, Knorr-Bremse will supply the equipment for a new generation of metro trains built by Hitachi Rail. This project will be the first anywhere in the world to feature Knorr-Bremse’s new couplers for passenger train application. The first trains are scheduled to enter service in 2024.
Knorr-Bremse will equip a total of 46 metros, each consisting of six railcars, intended for Milan’s M1, M2 and M3 lines. Knorr-Bremse’s deliveries are due to start in the fourth quarter of 2023, running through to the first quarter of 2026.
In addition to pneumatic braking systems fitted with FlexControl modular brake control units, the order includes door systems supplied by IFE, Knorr-Bremse’s world-leading brand for train entrance systems. These highly reliable, weight-optimized, low-maintenance plug sliding doors play a vital role in ensuring that passengers can quickly and safely board and alight from trains. The systems play an important role in streamlining passenger flows on platforms and ensuring that trains are punctual.
“Investments in state-of-the-art transport infrastructure and technologies are vital for the development of reliable, efficient, sustainable rail mobility. Being awarded the contract for coupling systems in particular is a fantastic step forward for us as we enter this technically challenging and growing market segment,” Jürgen Wilder, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG said.
The order marks Knorr-Bremse’s successful entry into the international market for coupling systems. Since 2019, Knorr-Bremse has developed a broad range of modular couplers for various types of passenger trains, including the AutoLink centre buffer coupler and the ShortLink semi-permanent coupler. As well as being extremely robust and durable, the systems feature numerous functions for safe, dependable automated coupling operations. Thanks to the company’s development expertise, strength in industrial processes and close-knit service network, Knorr-Bremse is ideally placed to fulfil high-volume orders as well as satisfy complex customer requirements across the product lifecycle.
In parallel, Knorr-Bremse is developing a Digital Automatic Coupler (DAC, FreightLink) for freight trains. By 2026, the company aims to become a leading supplier of automated system solutions for the rail freight industry. Accompanying the DAC, Knorr-Bremse’s dedicated automation system will support intelligent functions and digital services enabling such features as process automation and smart, predictive maintenance.