Lithuanian Railways has signed a new contract with ABB for the supply of a 25 kV power grid for a 100% carbon-neutral railway line, on which electric trains will be powered by renewable energy sources. It is reported by Railway Supply magazine with reference to IRJ.

Lithuanian Railways

The landmark Vilnius-Klaipeda railway project is being implemented by a joint venture between Elecnor and Inabensa in accordance with a contract signed in December 2019 and valued at 350 million euros. The contract is partly funded by the EU Cohesion Fund. This is the first deployment of ABB’s traction switchgear technology in Lithuania, as well as ABB’s largest order to date for 25 kV railway electrification in the European Union.

The project is part of a strategy to electrify 39% of the entire Lithuanian railway network by 2030, 8% of which are currently electrified. The goal is to ensure greater compatibility with the wider EU rail network, where the overall electrification rate is currently estimated at 56%. The electrification contract will cover a total track length of 730 km and will complete the electrification of the busy line between the capital and Klaipeda, a port on the Baltic Sea.

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ABB will design and supply 25 kV equipment packages for eight 230/25 kV traction substations, eight transformer substations and three sectioning posts. ABB will also custom build six variants of its outdoor switchgear (SMOS), which it says integrates all the elements needed to safely protect and operate power lines.

It is estimated that after the completion of the electrification contract, the railway line will be used by more than three-quarters of all freight traffic and two-thirds of rail passengers in Lithuania. It will improve the competitiveness of rail transport, reduce operating costs and generate economic benefits from reduced pollution, which could amount to up to EUR 1 billion in total cost savings for Lithuania.

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