Alstom official explains why company's trains perfect fit for BTK (Exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, July 3
By Fikret Dolukhanov – Trend:
Alstom’s first contracted freight locomotive for the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway presented last week in Astana will be delivered to Azerbaijan soon, whereas the first passenger locomotive is already in Baku, Bernard Peille, Alstom managing director for Western and Central Asia Cluster, told Trend in an exclusive interview.
Peille reminded that Azerbaijan Railways (ADY) purchased a total of 50 locomotives, including 10 passenger and 40 freight locomotives, adding that the contract is currently being executed.
Further speaking on the BTK, Peille said that the area the railway crosses through, is very hilly.
He said the characteristics of a locomotive must be adjusted, since the power networks of Azerbaijan and Georgia are different as far as voltage goes.
“Our product is very much fit for these conditions and not only in Azerbaijan or Georgia but other countries of the region as well,” Peille said.
He added that Alstom’s locomotives perfectly fit for heavy hauling, as well as for passenger and freight transport considering natural conditions such as slopes, heat etc.
Alstom earlier presented its first electric freight locomotive Prima T8 AZ8A for Azerbaijan Railways. The presentation of the locomotive was held at the Electric Locomotives Assemblage Factory (EKZ), located on the territory of the Astana special economic zone.
The first AZ8A locomotive became a part of the contract signed by EKZ with "Azerbaijan Railways" in 2014 for the supply of 50 locomotives, including 10 passenger locomotives Prima M4 AZ4A. AZ8A is a heavy-duty freight locomotive from the Prima T8 series, which is based on the KZ8A locomotive, currently operated in Kazakhstan. AZ8A is designed for operation at temperatures from -25 to 50 degrees Celsius.
The locomotive is designed according to the specific technical requirements provided by the ARW Company, and also meets the GOST and TU standards. Prima T8 is one of the most powerful electric locomotives in the world.
The model consists of two sections, is able to pull a train weighing up to 9,000 tons and reach a speed of 120 km/h.
Earlier, Chairman of Azerbaijan Railways Javid Gurbanov said that the passenger transportation via the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will begin in 2019.
He noted that the passenger transportation will be launched after receiving passenger trains ordered from Stadler.
The official opening ceremony of the BTK railway was held in Baku Oct. 30 last year. The BTK railway was constructed on the basis a Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement.
The railway’s peak capacity will be 17 million tons of cargo per year. At an initial stage, this figure will be one million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo.
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