The Léman Express is the largest cross-border regional railway system in Europe, linking commuters in France and Switzerland to Geneva’s lakeside, city center and airport, as well as to neighboring French cities across the border.
The challenge for Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) is to supply uninterrupted power to its expanding Geneva rail network, while also achieving a sustainability target of 100 percent rail power from renewable sources by 2025.
Hitachi ABB Power Grids delivered its innovative Rail SFC (Static Frequency Converter) Light power conversion technology to SBB – a robust, pioneering solution that provides reliable long-term service and significant advantages in terms of improved power quality and lower energy losses. Rail SFC Light also simplifies maintenance with direct, easy access to the converter components that can be replaced quickly and individually if necessary.
“Rail SFC Light is the world’s first multilevel converter based on IGCT (insulated-gate commutated thyristors) technology, which enables optimum efficiency of the traction energy supply system,” explains Tobias Thurnherr-Schlumpf, Global Product Manager for Rail SFCs. “Our solution stabilizes voltage, reduces peak demand, lowers the required number of feeding stations, and by adding more power to electric rail lines will help SBB safely and reliably transport up to 30,000 passengers per day.”
With nominal power of 80 megawatts, Rail SFC Light converters installed at Foretaille near Geneva’s international airport can power 13 large locomotives and deliver necessary power to the high-voltage network.
Launched in December 2019, the newly expanded Léman Express service comprises more than 230 km of track, 45 stations and more than 240 trains crossing the French-Swiss border every day.
As the partner of choice for a sustainable energy future, Hitachi ABB Power Grids’ technology supports the SBB’s goal of transitioning towards renewable power sources while increasing the energy efficiency of its rail network - an essential element to ensure growth in rail mobility is achieved sustainably.
Supported by more than 40 years of rail SFC knowledge and experience, Hitachi ABB Power Grids is focused on meeting the ongoing needs of rail clients and enhancing the sustainability of their operating systems.