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Entry into the Chinese metro market: ZF receives major order for EcoMet metro gearboxes



Reliability, driving comfort, fast availability. This was the main criteria the City of Hangzhou required for the new transmissions that were to be part of the new “Airlink” metro line project to the city airport. After careful consideration, ZF was awarded the contract with the newly developed EcoMet model range. Thanks to ZF technology, several hundred million passengers per year will reach their destination reliably and comfortably as of mid-2022 at the latest.

The metropolis Hangzhou is home of 10 million people, it is a hub of the Chinese economy, international trade and e-commerce. The local public transport authority registers approximately 600 million passengers per year. With such demand and rail usage, it is no surprise that the Chinese rail vehicle manufacturer CRRC Puzhen chose the proven and high-performance technology from ZF for a brand-new metro line in Hangzhou. Puzhen commissioned a total of 720 models of the EcoMet gearbox range.

ZF and the Hangzhou Airlink: Take the train to catch your flight

CRRC Puzhen only uses the EcoMet variant for its vehicles on the new Hangzhou Airlink – in a total of 45 trains. As a direct connection, the Airlink will link the west train station of the province’s capital with Hangzhou Xiaoshan International Airport. It will only take about 50 minutes to commute between the airport and the train station

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, covering 59 kilometers and 17 stops.

Hangzhou Xiaoshan International served over 35 million passengers in 2017. In view of the predictably high frequency of the new metro line, there are higher requirements in terms of driving comfort and reliability.

“This major order marks ZF’s entry into the growing metro market in China. With the EcoMet, we offer high-quality and innovative technology to cater to this market. In doing so, ZF reinforces its position as an important supplier of innovative rail drive technology in China,” explains Markus Gross, Director Product Line Rail Drive Systems at ZF.

Laying the groundwork for a new metro standard

With EcoMet, ZF has established a new standard for metro gearboxes. EcoMet was designed for variable center distances and ratios during development. Now, customers no longer have to commission time-consuming and expensive redesigns for every vehicle. Since it comes as a modular kit, EcoMet can be flexibly adapted to many applications. ZF relies on standardized components and seamless logistics chains. Therefore, the EcoMet gearboxes are delivered within six to eight months. They feature a suitable clutch and torque support. Also, they are basically secured in terms of lubrication, leak tightness, acoustics and load testing.

ZF started delivery of the order for CRRC Puzhen in September 2021. The Airlink line is to reach its full capacity by June 2022 – in good time before the 2022 Asian Games.

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