Alstom in China


As a promoter of sustainable mobility, Alstom develops and markets systems, equipment and services for the railway sector. Alstom manages the widest range of solutions in the market – from high-speed trains to metros and tramways – customised services (maintenance, modernisation,…) and infrastructure and signalling solutions.
Alstom is a world leader in integrated railway systems. It recorded sales of €6.9 billion and booked €10.6 billion of orders in the 2015/16 fiscal year. Headquartered in France, Alstom is present in over 60 countries and employs 31,000 people today.

Alstom is famed for the development of new-generation trains, components and cutting-edge signalling products and solutions. It is committed to providing innovative services and infrastructure projects, developing a rail transit system that takes social and environmental requirements as primary objectives.

Technological innovation is a key focus of Alstom. It is committed to meeting the growing needs of sustainable mobility of customers by strong capability in technological innovation, and to provide support and service to their fleets throughout the entire lifecycle. Alstom began placing the lifecycle of its products under more consideration in the mid-1990s. Incorporating environmental parameters into the design of a product or service is known as eco-design. This process aims at controlling and reducing a product’s impact on the environment throughout its life, from production to recycling. In addition, all of Alstom’s R&D efforts are directed towards two priority objectives: addressing the needs of the customers and passengers as well as taking into account the environmental and sustainability impact of its offers, making the company a key practitioner of responsible innovation in the service of society.

For a long time, Alstom has continued its efforts to maintain in-depth communication with customers, focusing on understanding their needs, and providing them with comprehensive and sustainable products and solutions. Meanwhile, its global business presence and efficient network of partnerships allow the company to constantly deepen its localization, increase customer proximity, while developing adapted products.

Alstom is a key player in the rapid development of the Chinese railway system. Alstom has had a long-standing commitment to serving Chinese national and urban rail transport markets since the 1950s, supplying diesel and electric locomotives to China. In 1958, Alstom supplied 25 electric locomotives for the Baocheng line – the first electrified railway in China. From 1958 to 1970, Alstom supplied China with 115 diesel and electric locomotives.

In 1985, the cooperation reached new levels. China Railway ordered 150 “8K” dual-compartment electric locomotives. Since then, Alstom started its technology transfer to China.

Entering the 21st Century, Alstom accelerated its market development in China by implementing long-term and effective local partnership and proving quality product and services, to contribute to the construction of modernised urban transportation of the country.  Thanks to its advanced products, reliable services, and excellent project execution, Alstom has consecutively won bids for mainline rolling stock from China Railways. Thanks to its advanced products, reliable services, and excellent project execution, Alstom has consecutively won biddings for mainline rolling stock from China Railways.

Since October 2004, in keeping with the Chinese policy of “introducing, digesting, absorbing, and re-innovation of advanced technology from foreign suppliers”, Alstom provided advanced technology (based on its Pendolino platform) and supported Changchun Railway Vehicles Company to develop the high-speed trains (CRH5) platform by facilitating the production of 175 trains.

In freight locomotive, Alstom worked with Datong Electric Locomotive Co., Ltd., on the manufacturing of 680 high-power double locomotives, these trains were based on Alstom’s most advanced PRIMA 6000 trains. On top of these, Alstom also won its milestone infrastructure contract in China for the electrification of the Shi-Tai high-speed line from MoR - the milestone infrastructure contract won by Alstom in the Chinese market. It allows passengers to travel from Beijing to Taiyuan in 3 hours, enabling trains to peak at 250 km/h. The railway line started operation in April, 2009.

In the metro market, Alstom has participated in metro network construction in cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanjing, Ningbo, Suzhou, Wuhan, Kunming, Nanning, Zhengzhou, Qingdao, Wuxi, Xi’an, Chengdu and Changchun. Currently, Alstom has supplied 1,222 and 456 METROPOLIS cars to Shanghai and Nanjing respectively. In Chinese mainland, Alstom has provided traction systems to 12 metro lines including Beijing Metro Line 6 and Line 15, and provided signalling systems to 31 metro lines in 14 cities in Mainland China.

Alstom’s URBALIS™ solution is the world’s most complete and flexible system to integrate a networked Communication-based Train Control (CBTC) system. The solution includes an Automatic Train Operation (ATO) system which will optimise the operation and increase service efficiency and traffic fluidity for the operator. The applications of the URBALIS™ train control system around the world are a decisive factor in Alstom’s bid success. Alstom Transport provides its most reliable transit control systems with advanced URBALIS™ system to Chinese mass transit market by working in partnership in China.

Alstom provided the Urbalis™ solution to both Beijing Metro Line 2 signalling system revamping project and Beijing Airport Link, bringing a comfortable, safe and convenient travelling experience for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Beijing Metro Line 2 is the first metro line with radio CBTC system in service in China, and also the world’s first project involving a revamp to a CBTC system. With the new CBTC system, passengers in city centre of Beijing will enjoy a reduction of 30 seconds from the usual 3-minutes interval during peak/rush hours. Now the interval has been further reduced to only 2 minutes on Line 2. Beijing Airport Link is the first line in China’s rail traffic area to adopt driverless technology, which represents a significant improvement on signalling system control technology and the organization and management of the operation. The 28.1-kilometer Airport Link connects central Beijing to Beijing Capital International Airport. Currently the Beijing Airport Link could achieve a top speed of 110 km/h; the minimum train interval is 7 minutes 30 seconds.

In addition, Alstom’s advanced metro trains and solutions continued to contribute to the international development of Chinese cities, facilitated the successful holding of important events such as 2010 Shanghai World Expo and 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing with stable and reliable products, providing passengers from around the world with the most convenient, safe and comfortable rail transport services.

In the tramway sector, Alstom’s Citadis tramway sufficiently takes social benefits such as environmental protection into consideration. With its unique characteristics including APS, the new ground level power-supply system, powers the tram sets via a recessed third rail in the roadway. This technology reduces visual pollution and preserves the authenticity of the local architecture. With over 20 years’ experiences in the tram business, Alstom has sold nearly 1,700 vehicles worldwide. We are poised to introduce this clean, environmentally friendly mode of public transport throughout China.

Alstom has established five joint ventures and strategic partnerships with Chinese enterprises. They are:

  • CASCO Signal Ltd., the first joint venture in Chinese rail market, established by Alstom and China Railway Signal & Communication Corporation in 1986. Providing signalling systems and services for metros and railways.
  • SATEE (Shanghai Alstom Transport Electric Equipment Co., Ltd.) established in 1999 by Alstom and Shanghai Electric Group supplying train traction system equipment.
  • SATCO (Shanghai Alstom Transport Co., Ltd.), established in 1999 by Alstom and Shanghai Rail Traffic Equipment Development Co., Ltd., focusing on assembly and maintenance of vehicles.
  • Qingdao Alstom Railway Equipment Co., Ltd., established in 1999 by Alstom and Sifang Rolling Stock Institute, dealing in production, maintenance and servicing of hydraulic damper
  • Xi’an Alstom Yongji Electric Equipment Co., Ltd., established in 2006 by Alstom and CNR Yongji Electric Machine Factory, manufactures and sells motor equipment and components for EMUs and AC electric locomotives.

China is one of Alstom’s most important markets in the world, and the company is committed to becoming China’s most dedicated partner in its transportation construction. As the world’s largest infrastructure market, China today is experiencing the world’s greatest urbanization, building the most ambitious rail and urban transport network, in the meantime actively practicing the concept of sustainable development. Alstom will, as always, continue to support the technological innovation of the local industry through our state-of-the-art, green and excellent technology and services, to development win-win cooperation with China to contribute to the prosper development of the country. 

Our References

Beijing Metro Line 2 and Airport Link

Alstom provided the most advanced Urbalis™ (CBTC) solution to Beijing Metro Line 2. The solution is a state-of-the-art mass transit control system that integrates a CBTC system based on communications and radio network, spread spectrum WLAN, interlocking system, trackside equipment and control centre etc. Beijing Metro Line 2 is the first metro line with radio CBTC system in service in China, and also the world’s first project involving a revamp to a CBTC system. The Automatic Train Operation system (ATO) of Alstom’s Urbalis™ solution could optimize Line 2’s train operation, improve efficiency and answer the challenge of larger passenger volume.  With this system, passengers could enjoy a comfortable, safe and punctual travel. With the new CBTC system, passengers in city centre of Beijing will enjoy a reduction of 30 seconds from the usual 3-minutes interval during peak/rush hours.  Now the interval has been further reduced to only 2 minutes on Line 2.

In addition, Alstom also provided the cutting-edge Urbalis™ solution (CBTC) for the Beijing Airport Link, which could realize driverless operation under normal condition. Beijing Airport Link is the first line in China’s rail traffic area to adopt driverless technology, which represents a significant improvement on signalling system control technology and the organization and management of the operation. Currently the Beijing Airport Link could achieve a top speed of 110 km/h; the minimum train interval is 7 minutes 30 seconds. Alstom’s Urbalis™ solution (CBTC) brings a number of benefits to passengers: it shortens the follow-up distance of trains along the subway line, which increase the frequency of trains to help alleviate the overcrowding on the platform during the rush hour. Furthermore, the system enables faster train speed and thus shorter time per trip, as trains can run close to the speed limits during curves and slopes.

Corporate Responsibility

Aware of its role in society, Alstom has embarked on a strategy to participate in and contribute to local communities.

In November 2007, Alstom set up a Foundation to promote and support environmental protection initiatives, which will run for five years with an annual budget of €1 million to finance the most original and attractive ideas selected worldwide. In China, the Alstom Foundation successfully completed the "Green Shopping Bag" Project to promote the use of reusable shopping bags and the "Biodiversity Conservation in Northwest Yunnan - Meili Mountain and Laojun Mountain" project for biodiversity preservation in 2008, as well as the "Alstom Forest" Project in 2011 to plant 2011 trees in Beijing.

In 2013 and 2014, Alstom China employees participated in a volunteering programme called "Care for Sunvillage" organized by the company's Labour Union in Beijing. The objective of this programme is to help disadvantaged children living in the NGO Sunvillage. Alstom employees donated fund to the NGO, together with more than 2,000 items to support their lives. In addition, Alstom Beijing employees and their family members participated in the Spring Charity Walking in two consecutive years. A total of near RMB 10,000 was raised by the participants, which will be used in supporting education of migrant children.

Putting employees at the heart of our strategy

People are at the core of Alstom. Alstom’s human resources management strategy is designed to help the employees make the most of their talents, which focuses on promoting career development, recognising both individual and collective contributions to Group successes and improving working conditions.

Alstom is committed to achieving excellence with regard to Environmental, Health and Safety: to ensure our workplace is free from accidents and injuries, to care for natural resources and prevent pollution to protect the environment. At each Alstom site, we have designated people responsible for implementing EHS programs and procedures. All Alstom employees are required to work towards a safe and healthy workplace and minimize impact to the environment in which we live and work. Alstom's facilities are committed to OHSAS 18001: 2007 "Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems-Requirements" compliance.

Alstom has a complete system for talent development - People Management Cycle. By leveraging its process and tools, the company able to provide an individual development plan for each employee after a comprehensive assessment of his/her performance, competence and promotability. We adopt multiple methods for people development: on top of the traditional classroom training sessions and e-learning programmes, we also have coaching, mentoring, on-job training and overseas training to meet different needs.

The company has its own corporate university - Alstom University, to provide Alstom employees with high-quality training and e-learning programmes and in the meantime to provide and maintain the knowledge management platform, which promotes the know-how and experience sharing across sectors and regions. In year 2013/14, 1207 participants have completed various training programs organized by Alstom University China Campus.

1958: Alstom began supplying China with electric and diesel-electric locomotives

1979: The first representative office in Beijing was established

1999: Establishment of Shanghai Alstom Transport Electrical Equipment Co., Ltd (SATEE) and Shanghai Alstom Transport Co., Ltd (SATCO)

1999: The contract for Shanghai Metro Line 3

2002: The contract for Nanjing Metro Line 1

2004: The contract to supply 60 EMU and 180 BoBo locomotives to China

2007: The contract for 500 CoCo locomotives - the world’s most powerful electric freight      locomotive

2011: The contract for Beijing Metro Line 6 and Qingdao Metro Line 3

2012: The contract for Shanghai Metro Line 3 and Line 4

2013: The contract for Nanjing Metro Line 4

2014: The contract for Nanjing Metro Line 12, Chengdu Metro Line 3, 4 and Xi’an Line 3

December 19: Alstom Shareholders Meeting authorises the sale of the Alstom Energy businesses to General Electric

2015: Alstom finalises the sales of its energy activities and is entirely focused on Transport