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Alstom and TMH’s KZ4AT passenger locomotive begins commercial operation in Kazakhstan

KZ4AT locomotive running in Kazakhstan (c)Alstom Transport/ Arnaud Février

The first KZ4AT passenger locomotive, jointly developed by Alstom and Transmashholding and delivered to Kazakh Railways by EKZ1, has entered commercial service on the Astana-Kokshetau line. Two other locomotives, currently performing dynamic tests in Kazakhstan, are to be delivered in 2015.

The one-section alternative current passenger locomotive KZ4AT has been designed to suit the needs of the Kazakh and CIS market and is adapted to tough local climate conditions. The locomotive is able to run at up to 200 km/h and can operate in temperatures ranging from -50 °C to +45 °C. The cutting-edge traction system of KZ4AT, jointly produced by Alstom and Transmashholding, is based on Alstom’s technology and components. It requires minimum maintenance, providing a low lifecycle cost and high levels of reliability thanks to its modular design.

In June 2010, Alstom, TMH and KTZ laid the first stone of EKZ new facility in Kazakhstan for the production of locomotives. The plant was officially inaugurated in December 2012 in the presence of Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan. It will supply 200 KZ8A freight locomotives and 95 KZ4AT passenger electric locomotives to KTZ by 2020. Twenty five KZ8A locomotives have already been certified and handed over to the customer.

In October 2014, Alstom and KTZ agreed on the possibility for Alstom to increase its share in the EKZ joint venture to 50% and expand its activities in Kazakhstan to include maintenance. With 14,000 km of tracks, the Kazakh railway network is the world’s third biggest and represents a substantial market for modern electric locomotives, maintenance and signalling projects.

[1] EKZ: Alstom, Transmashholding (TMH) and Kazakh Railways (KTZ) joint venture based in Astana