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Alstom Innovation Awards 2019

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Communications director Europe

Carole Courtin

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Team from Switzerland and Germany awarded gold medal for gauge-changeable bogie

January 22, 2020 – On 12 December 2019, a joint team from Switzerland and Germany won the gold medal in the category of “Innovative Products & Systems“. The team convinced the jury with its idea of a gauge-changeable bogie for trains.

Trendsetting innovations were awarded for the 12th time within the scope of the company-wide innovation programme ‘I Nove You‘in France, Alstom’s headquarters. With more than 2,000 participants and a total of 620 projects submitted from 23 countries, more Alstom teams participated in 2019 than ever before.

The joint team from the sites of Neuhausen (Switzerland) and Salzgitter (Germany) showed this year how successful cross-border cooperation can look like. The Centre of Excellence (CoE) Regional Bogies in Salzgitter was responsible for the design and development of the gauge-enabled bogie and is also where the bogies are produced. 

The newly developed bogie can continuously adjust its gauge from meter to standard gauge (1,435mm), thus solving the challenge of differently high platform edges and track gauges, which is the case in Switzerland. 

This adjustment can be performed during the passage of a stationary gauge changing mechanism at a maximum speed of 15 km/h. Thanks to its flexibility, the bogie allows an efficient and cost-effective operation because its use reduces the number of necessary train configurations. Operators therefore receive reliable multifunctional bogie technology with minimum investment.

Passengers, too, benefit from this innovative novelty. For them, this flexible bogie means fewer changeovers and therefore less time lost. The bogie is adjusted to differently high platform edges, thus ensuring a convenient and safe entry and exit. In addition, a pneumatically controlled suspension and the optimum bogie design provide a pleasant ride comfort. The competitive gauge-changing trailer bogie will mainly be used on track sections between Montreux and Interlaken in Switzerland. This innovation will help Alstom to further strengthen its pioneering position in railway technology.

Cora Hentrich-Henne, Managing Director of Alstom in Switzerland, explains the importance of the innovation programme for Alstom: “Innovation is a major part of our strategy for 2020.We are delighted that the Swiss team has been awarded for its work. The award-winning adjustable bogie was developed for the special needs and requirements of the Swiss market. With this technology, we are able to further emphasize our position as a pioneer of smarter mobility and to set ourselves apart from competitors who rely primarily on conventional bogies.  .“