Quebec’s Bombardier Inks Huge Contract for High-Speed Trains in China

Thanks to having sharpened my Francophone ears this morning by having read a passage aloud to my class from Henri Maspero’s La Chine Antique (1955), I just picked up on a Quebec radio report from Montreal with the following news.  It was released this morning in Berlin:

Bombardier Transportation announced today that its Chinese joint venture, Bombardier Sifang (Qingdao) Transportation Ltd., has been selected by the Chinese Ministry of Railways (MOR) to supply 80 ZEFIRO 380 very high speed trains (1,120 cars) for the country’s rapidly growing high speed rail network. The contract, including 20 eight-car trainsets and 60 sixteen-car trainsets, is valued at an estimated 27.4 billion Chinese Renminbis ($4 billion US, 2.7 billion euros).[1] Bombardier’s share of the contract is estimated at 13.5 billion Chinese Renminbis, ($2 billion US, 1.3 billion euros).[1] The first train is scheduled for delivery in 2012 with final deliveries expected in 2014.

The new trainsets will be an integral part of an evolving high speed rail capability in China, which is developing more than 6,000 km of new high speed lines to create one of the most advanced high speed rail networks in the world. The trains, with maximum operating speeds of 380 kph, are based on Bombardier’s next-generation ZEFIRO high speed rail technology, and powered by a highly energy efficient BOMBARDIER MITRAC propulsion and control system.

William Anderson, a very sharp analyst of China’s foreign trade who was also involved in some intensive negotiations with Bombardier in Montreal before the company became entangled with the China trade, is sure to have some further information for me about this deal.  (He is my uncle!)  Suffice it to say, the rest of us in the U.S. are crying into our Thomas Friedman editorials.

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