Skoda Group to provide traction drives for Wabtec locomotives in Kazakhstan

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Škoda Group has announced that it is working with US-based locomotive manufacturer Wabtec to produce mechanical drives for locomotives destined for Kazakhstan.

Škoda has already supplied Wabtec with motor sets for more than 50 locomotives in recent years. The new contract includes deliveries for another 26 locomotives and is worth over €12 million. The delivery will be realized during the year 2023.

“Locomotives must fulfil very difficult conditions in Kazakhstan. So, there is huge attention to quality and durability. I am glad that with this order we are confirming that we can succeed with our products on a global scale and with the world’s most demanding customers,” said Jaromír Šilhánek, president of the electrical systems and components product line at Škoda Group.

The locomotive delivery includes a total of 156 complete mechanical traction drives (six for each locomotive), which include the traction motor, gearbox, and wheelset. The locos will operate in the harsh conditions of the Central Asian region and will have to withstand extreme temperature ranges from -55°C to +55°C.

All drives will undergo a system of tests and trials before being put into operation – although the locomotives are designed for Kazakhstan, they are approved according to very demanding Russian norms and GOST standards.

For example, the company must successfully prove the durability of both individual parts and complete sets, which means testing the complete drive including the gearbox and wheelset. The new locomotives are assembled directly in Kazakhstan.