Alstom is launching two major innovative urban solutions at the UITP World Congress 2015, in Milan: Attractis, an integrated tramway system for growing cities, and SRS, a new ground-based static charging system for both trams and electrical buses. During the exhibition, Alstom also announced the extension of the APS’s (ground-level power supplier) application to hybrid trucks. 

Urbanisation is a dominant trend. According to the UNIFE [1]report, the urban rail market is booming (+4.1% per year) and 35% of urban projects are expected to be tendered as integrated solutions between 2015 and 2017. This trend is already being observed in regions such as Middle East and Africa, Latin America, Asia Pacific and North America where public transport authorities prefer to award their urban projects to a single contractor. In all markets, urban transport solutions must be simple to operate and meet challenges such as budgetary constraints, LCC (Life Cycle Cost), financing, localization, and partnerships. In addition, environmental challenges, arising from rapid economic development, spur demand for innovative cleaning and greening solutions.

Alstom masters every stage of an urban rail transport integrated system, from design to complete validation and commissioning in its environment, and is a leader in the maintenance of the complete system. By continuously improving the environmental performance of its solutions, Alstom also strives to reinforce their attractiveness while reducing their life cost.

Attractis – a fully integrated tramway system available in record time

Attractis is an integrated tramway designed for fast growing cities with high population density but not yet equipped with a tram system. It integrates Alstom’s proven know-how and expertise and includes the manufacturing of the Alstom’s Citadis[2] tramways, building the infrastructure and maintaining the entire tram system. In partnership with a civil works company, Alstom builds all the necessary infrastructure and ensures the testing and commissioning of the entire line working with the operator.

 Able to carry from 4,000 to up to 14,000 passengers per hour and per direction, Attractis can be easily adjusted to the level of ridership. The footprint of a two-way Attractis line is comparable to that of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)[3]. Should ridership increase, the capacity of Attractis can easily be adapted using the same dedicated lane, whereas the footprint of a BRT lane needs to be doubled.

To ensure the availability of Attractis in the record time of 30 months, Alstom has developed an optimised construction methodology involving intelligent section-by-section scheduling of civil and electromechanical works to minimise construction time, disturbance and costs. The Attractis package also includes a 3D driving simulator, enabling drivers to practice during the construction period, further optimising the timing of the project.

Alstom can rely on its experience with 16 integrated tram solutions projects awarded, positioning the company as the world n°1 in this field. The company is currently managing the construction of 8 tram systems including Cuenca (Ecuador), Rio (Brazil), Sydney (Australia), Nottingham (UK), Lusail (Qatar) and 3 further projects in Algeria.

Attractis is also the first rail system to adopt ITxPT (Information Technology for Public Transport), an open IT architecture designed to improve interoperability between IT systems and decrease costs related to multiple equipment. With this new norm, the integration of multimodal urban transport systems (tram, bus, electric car sharing services etc.) is synchronised, allowing transport authorities to offer passengers innovative information solutions, journey planners and e-ticketing systems.

Designed to optimise acquisition costs and the total cost of ownership, Attractis offers up to 20% savings in investment compared to a traditional tramway system. Alstom can also provide project financing support to customers, including Public Private Partnership schemes. An eco-friendly mode of transportation, the tramway generates at least 3 to 10 times less greenhouse gas emissions than car per travelled and even less in countries using low-carbon electricity.

New infrastructure solutions with an extended use to road transportation

Autonomy and energy efficiency are important criteria in urban transport. With continued focus on ensuring the proper architectural integration of trams into city centres, Alstom expanded its range of catenary-free solutions with SRS, a breakthrough ground-based power charging system for all types of tramways, including the non-Alstom built. SRS allows vehicles to run autonomously between stops without the use of catenary, offering the best adapted response to preserve the cityscape. It is also designed to address the road market by supplying power to electrical buses through ground-based charging slots at stations. It can be used by a large range of electrical buses.

SRS is based on the technology and safety principles of the proven Alstom APS solution used by Citadis trams. Whereas APS supplies power to the tram while it is still running, SRS store energy recharged during tram stations stops in less than 20 seconds. Electrical power comes from compact power supply cabinets that are smoothly and easily integrated into stations. Collector shoes (contact blocks), fitted under the tram, make contact with the conductor rail, providing electric traction power to the tram. Supercapacitors installed on the roof of the tram store energy via a ground-based conductive rail which provides traction power to the vehicle through the collector shoes.

Alstom is also extending the use of its APS solution to hybrid trucks. This was developed as a collaborative project, called ‘Electrical Road Systems’, between Alstom and Volvo. The research conducted by the two companies involves a method based on two power lines built into the surface of the road. This allows to power electric the trucks as they drive along the road via a current collector located on the vehicle. The technology has been undergoing tests since 2012. The tests will continue until the end of the programme, scheduled for the end of 2015