MTR ZER4 battery electric locomotives

I’ve written about the MTR’s Brush Traction battery electric locomotives used to help maintain their rail networks before, but there is a new class of locomotive joining the fleet – the CRRC built ZER4 units.


CRRC Corporation photo

The CRRC website describes the ZER4 battery electric locomotives, in this article from December 2015.

The ZER4 Hong Kong Battery Electric Vehicle is developed in accordance with the relevant technical contract requirements of the Hong Kong MTR. It is suitable for the climatic conditions of Hong Kong and is mainly used for the traction of rail vehicles and the shunting of vehicles.

It is a battery electric engineering vehicle that can be powered by the contact net and the vehicle battery. It is suitable for the track line powered by DC 1500V contact network. The construction vehicle is a double-end driver’s cab, the structure of the central corridor, with good visual field conditions, low noise and green environmental protection. This type of engineering vehicle has been applied to the Hong Kong Island South Island Line.

This type of engineering vehicle has the characteristics of excellent performance, high reliability, energy saving and environmental protection, strong applicability, good maintainability and low life cycle cost (LCC). It embodies the design concept of energy saving, emission reduction and green environmental protection.

Main technical features:

  • coupler same as the MTR electric multiple units.
  • air brake system uses the DK-II type electric air brake.
  • dual power supply system, with pantograph.
  • direct-AC electric drive system, and generates four asynchronous traction motors by generating three-phase AC power through a VVVF inverter composed of high-power IGBT modules. The electric brake adopts regenerative braking and resistance braking for energy efficiency.
  • vehicle traction battery charger, which can charge the vehicle battery while running, saving charging waiting time.
  • can be used in multiple unit with others of the same design.
  • The key components of the current receiving device, traction battery pack, traction converter, traction motor, and bogie are all mature, reliable and application-oriented components, with good maintainability and high reliability.

Along with a list of specifications:

Current system: DC1500V (contact net), DC800V (battery)
Electric drive mode: straight-to-electric drive
Gauge: 1435mm
Shaft type: B0-B0
Axle weight: 14t
Wheel diameter: 840mm (new round)
Curve passing ability: 110m
Traction power: 400kW (contact wire), 300kW (battery)
Maximum speed: 65km/h (contact wire), 40km/h (battery)
Starting traction: 100kN (contact wire), 100kN (battery)
Electric braking power: 300kW (contact wire), 300kW (battery)

By January 2016 the new locomotives had entered service on the South Island Line.

With the MTR having invited tenders for additional locomotives in 2019.

Supply of Battery Electric Locomotives
Contract No.: Q070242

MTR Corporation Limited invites qualified suppliers to express their interest in tendering for the supply of 13 units battery electric locomotive, with an option of 6 units. The locomotives shall be running on MTR DUAT Lines with track gauge of 1432 mm, maximum gradient of 3.2%, minimum radius of 140 m at depot, maximum axle load of 17 ton, maximum cant of 150 mm, and maximum cant gradient of 1:440.

The battery electric locomotives shall be bi-mode operated (1500 VDC catenary or traction battery) and be capable to drive in tandem or multiple unit at speed not less than 65 kph on tangent level track with 204 ton trailing load.

A battery related footnote

In 2015 the MTR invited tenders for additional battery banks for their locomotive fleet.

Traction Battery for Battery / Electric Locomotives
Contract No.: Q040908

MTR Corporation Limited invites qualified suppliers to express their interest in tendering for the supply of the traction batteries for Battery / Electric Locomotives.

The scope of supply is 241 battery crates. Each crate shall contain 35 nos. of traction lead acid battery cell of 365AH completed with auto-filling system. The battery crate shall be new and cell case shall be flame retardant and low smoke.

The prequalification process for the tender will take place in June 2015 and tenders will be invited in August 2015.

Further reading

This journal article describes the design of the ZER4 locomotives, but it’s Chinese language AND behind a paywall.

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