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Alstom Launches New Welding Line for Construction of Aluminum Trains

© by Alstom

Aluminum is increasingly being used to replace heavier and more difficult-to-machine steel in the rail industry. This is due to the material’s high strength-to-weight ratio and resistance to corrosion, which enables the production of lighter railcars, while also extending the life of those railcars to about 40 years. In response to this trend in the rail industry and in-line with its own sustainable mobility strategy, Alstom Group launched an aluminum welding line at its rolling stock site in Wroclaw, Poland.

“Alstom is at the forefront of aluminum welding technology in rolling stock production in Poland and will continue to develop and popularize this technology, which is more efficient and environmentally friendly than conventional steel,” said Slawomir Cyza, president and managing director of Alstom in Poland, Ukraine, and the Baltic States. “Aluminum has many advantages over stainless steel in train construction. Aluminum guarantees a lower weight of trains, which in turn contributes to using less energy to power the train and thus lower CO2 emissions. At the same time, the reduced weight of the carriage means that train speeds can be higher even on existing railroad tracks.”

Alstom is the largest manufacturer and exporter of the Polish railroad industry. The company is also a leader in aluminum welding technology, with its site in Wroclaw successfully manufacturing locomotive and passenger vehicle bodies, as well as bogie frames for various types of rail vehicles. This includes the production of components and car bodies for high speed trains. The total value of ongoing projects is nearly €700 million, and the site employs more than 1,000 people.

The new aluminum welding line is linked to investments of almost €10 million, which includes the installation of new equipment and machinery, adaptation of the plant’s infrastructure to the new technology, and employee training. Ultimately, the investment will enable the Wroclaw plant to acquire new projects and produce aluminum boxes for regional trains for European markets.

In addition, the new aluminum welding line will create at least 100 new jobs at the plant. At the same time, the competencies of the plant’s employees from various departments will be further developed.

Implementation of new technology in Wroclaw is actively supported by the Chorzow-based Alstom Konstal, which has been an expert in aluminum welding for many years and successfully produces complete vehicles for foreign carriers, such as POP regional trains for Italy’s Trenitalia or ICNG trains for the Netherlands.

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