Knorr-Bremse and Alstom sign first Kazakhstan deal
Knorr-Bremse Russia and Alstom Kazakhstan have signed an agreement to facilitate the braking system of 295 locomotives in Kazakhstan for the next 25 years. The units all belong to national railway company KTZ. The service agreement was signed in Berlin last week, when the Kazakh president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev’s visited his German counterpart.
Knorr-Bremse’s RailServices unit will maintain the brake systems of tup to 200 double-section freight locomotives and 95 passenger locomotives up till 2051. The 25-year contract applies per locomotive. In all, services will cover up to 495 mainline locomotive sections, the eldest of which entered service in 2013.
“Knorr-Bremse is to provide corrective and preventive maintenance as well as supplying replacement parts for all braking system components. This includes air supply units such as compressors and air dryers, as well as brake control, distributor valves and bogie equipment”, explained Harald Schneider, Member of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse’s Rail Vehicle Systems division and responsible for the company’s presence in the CIS region.
The corrective maintenance covers unscheduled repairs of defective components, while preventive maintenance includes scheduled overhauls to ensure optimum fleet availability, he adds.
Serving international trade
The company pointed out that through this deal, it helps to serve international trade routes through the Central Asian country, which has a burgeoning role as a cross-continental hub for rail traffic.
“As a growing hub for rail-borne trade, Kazakhstan plays an important role in intraregional and intercontinental freight transport,” Schneider continues. “We are excited to be able to strengthen our position in this dynamic market and help make freight and passenger mobility faster, safer and more reliable.”
Rail transport of both freight and passengers is the most common form of transport in Kazakhstan. Almost half of the commodities moving through the former Soviet Union’s second-largest country are rail-borne, accounting for 47.2 per cent of the country’s freight traffic, according to a UNECE study.
As part of the Trans-Siberian Railway corridor, Kazakhstan is one of the region’s key transit countries. The main routes of the New Silk Road run through Kazakhstan, and the country has seen rail freight volumes rise exponentially in the last few years.