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CRRC battery locomotive to be tested in Thailand

18 September 2022
Reading time ~ 4 min
CRRC battery locomotive for EA, Thailand
CRRC battery locomotive for EA, Thailand. Source:
Belov Sergey, Editor-in-Chief, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 4 min
Litvintsova Olga, Editor of International Projects, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Thailand: The Energy Absolute (EA) company has received the first battery-powered vehicle from a Chinese manufacturer. This is the second export delivery of battery-powered locomotives for CRRC.

The locomotive was delivered to the customer in July. The supply is carried out under the terms of the memorandum signed in 2021 with EA. The document provides for the implementation of a pilot project for the commissioning of locomotives with battery traction in the country. As reported in 2021, Thailand is actively working on the transition of the locomotive fleet from diesel to battery traction.

EA notes that the locomotive should be tested in shunting work this year. CRRC says the 6-axle locomotive for EA can haul 2,500 t freight trains at 70 km/h or 1,000 t passenger trains at 100 km/h. At the same time, the energy storage devices for the car were produced by EA itself (the company has been producing electric buses and also plans to significantly increase the production of batteries), and the Thai Asia Engineering & Service company will install them on the locomotive. Batteries should provide a range of 150-200 km, and energy savings, according to EA, will be 40% in comparison to a diesel locomotive.

For the project, EA plans to provide a charging system of its own design, which should have the ability to charge battery within 1 hour. The company also notes that a special infrastructure will be developed for replacing batteries in the locomotive: EA estimates that such changing of batteries will require less than 10 minutes, which should significantly reduce the time it takes to get the locomotive to work, since the vehicle will not stand waiting for charging.

CRRC battery locomotive for EA, Thailand CRRC battery locomotive for EA, Thailand. Source:

CRRC produced the locomotive at its new plant in the Lushun Economic Development Zone. The previously operating CRRC production in Dalian was moved to this site. It is stated that after the new site is fully commissioned, its annual production capacity should allow the production of 300 electric locomotives, 100 diesel locomotives, 700 LRV cars (metro, trams, monorail ad maglev), as well as carry out work on the modernization of 100 locomotives.

Earlier the CRRC battery locomotives were ordered by the Vale mining company in Brazil. For the domestic market, CRRC launched its fully battery shunter in 2020, with the NGD model put into service at the Nanjing steel plant.

CRRC has been supplying rolling stock to Thailand for several years. Thus, in the first half of 2022, the first freight and passenger locomotives delivered for the SRT national railway operator were tested in the country. The first of 20 vehicles arrived in Thailand in February as part of a 2020 contract for the delivery of 50 diesel locomotives.

Thailand itself is also working towards reviving rolling stock production. Engineers from the King Mongkut’s Institute of Technology plan to complete a passenger coach prototype next year with 40% of the components produced in the country.