Bombardier Zefiro 380

One of the readers suggested that we talk about the Maglev or the TGV this week.  Since I mentioned at the beginning that I would like to talk more about trains we could see around us or relate to first, so I will still talk about a train we as Canadians can somehow relate to and save the TGV and Maglev for later.  However, this doesn't mean that this train is any slower than the TGV.  I am talking about the Bombardier Zefiro platform and particularly the Zefiro 380, an 8 or 16 car very-high-speed train due for delivery to the Chinese Ministry of Railway (MOR), China's national passenger rail carrier, in 2012.  Yes, the name Zefiro 380 implies a top speed of 380 km/h (236 mph) in regular service.

The Zefiro incorporates technologies derived from the Gröna tåget (Green Train) project, a joint project with the KTH Railway Group (Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm) and Chalmers Railway Mechanics (Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg) to develop energy efficient high-speed trains with a modified Bombardier (former ADtranz) Regina.  For the Zefiro, every 4 cars make up a unit carrying a complete set of traction equipment, including the pantograph, transformer, inverter, and 8 powered axles underneath the two end cars.  The pantograph is fitted on one of the trailing cars in the middle.  As a result, the Zefiro is offered as either an 8 or 16 car trainset (in Germany, an 8-car EMU makes up a standard half-train).  If you are interested in the details of the project, please visit its official website at

The pictures below show a Zefiro 250 (on the left in the top picture, officially known in China as the CRH1E), a 16-car 250 km/h sleeper EMU manufactured by joint venture Bombardier-Sifang Transportation (BST) in Qingdao, China for existing mixed running lines, and an official rendering of the Zefiro 380.  As of today, the Chinese MOR is the single carrier that operates a fleet with the most variety of high-speed and very-high-speed trains.  These include the Regina (CRH1A and B, 250 km/h), Zefiro 250 (CRH1E, 250 km/h), E2-1000 (CRH2A, B, 250 km/h, and C, 350 km/h), Velaro C (CRH3, 350 km/h), and Pendolino ETR600 without tilting system (CRH5, 250 km/h) from manufactures including Bombardier (former ADtranz, Sweden and Bombardier, Germany), Kawasaki (Japan), Siemens (Germany), and Alstom (former Fiat, Italy).

BST Zefiro 250 (CRH1E)

Zefiro 380.  More pictures can be downloaded from Zefiro's official website.

The Zefiro 300 (also under development, top revenue speed of 300 to 360 km/h) is a European variant which will directly compete with the 360 km/h French Alstom EMU, the AGV (Automotrice à grande vitesse), successor of the push-pull TGV and the 350 km/h German Siemens EMU, the Velaro.

By request, we will take a look at the General Electric Evolution Series diesel-electric freight locomotive and the Montreal Metro the week after.


Renae said…
Excellent! Thanks for fulfilling my request with a Canadian Content equivalent.
I am just quite concerned why the pictures are not showing up. It would be a nice illustration of the story specially to other people like me who are visual learners.

All this stuff about energy and speed and electricity are but as complicated as the
Wedding Invite that I created last night.
Thanks for reporting the problem! Looks like Bombardier moved their images around and added some more. Not to worry though images of the Zefiro finally surfaced on Wikipedia as well. The picture of the Zefiro 380 looks like it's from InnoTrans 2010 and is only a mock-up.

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