Saft has begun supplying battery systems to CRRC Sifang America’s new railcar manufacturing facility in Chicago.
Part of the company’s biggest North American contract to date, the batteries will provide backup power to vital systems on board the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) 7000 series passenger railcars.
The contract was signed in April 2018 following a competitive bid process. Saft has developed a custom battery system design and has demonstrated its ability to meet CRRC’s specifications and the Buy America requirements, ensuring a minimum of 60% of all components of the new railcars are built with supplies from the United States.
The contract will include an initial order of battery box assemblies for 400 trains with options for an additional 446 assemblies.
“We’re thrilled to commence delivery for this important and ambitious project from our Valdosta plant in Georgia,” said Milan Sima, railway general manager at Saft. “CRRC is a leader in passenger railcar manufacturing and we have designed a 21st century battery system for a 21st century transit system. I’m proud of the work our team has completed thus far and look forward to our continued partnership with CRRC.”
The systems will supply backup power to essential on-board passenger comfort and safety functions, including heating, lighting, door control, security cameras, and communication systems.
Saft’s batteries are designed to maximise reliability and rider experience while reducing maintenance expenses and total cost of ownership for the battery for CTA. The batteries meet CRRC’s technical specifications for voltage, power, and backup duration, as well as the US National Fire Protection Association’s NFPA 130 standard.
“CRRC Sifang America Incorporated has high performance, reliability, safety and pricing standards for the specialised components it is procuring for the CTA 7000 series passenger railcar project. Meeting those standards is critical for CRRC to maintain its reputation as the leading passenger railcar manufacturer in the world, to continue building state-of-the-art innovative and reliable trains, and to deliver the highest quality products to its customers. Saft meets CRRC’s high expectations and strict requirements,” said Marina Popovic, human resources director and chief legal counsel at CRRC Sifang America Incorporated. “Moreover, CRRC is committed to doing business with US suppliers, such as Saft, which has successfully manufactured batteries for various railcar projects.”