In the 1960s, aluminium was used in the niche market for cog railways. Then, in the 1980s, aluminium emerged as the metal of choice for suburban transportation and high-speed trains, which benefited from lower running costs and improved acceleration. In 1996, the TGV Duplex train was introduced, combining the concept of high speed with that of optimal capacity, transporting 40% more passengers while weighing 12% less than the single deck version, all thanks to its aluminium structure.
Today, aluminium metros and trams operate in many countries. Canada’s LRC, France’s TGV Duplex trains and Japan’s Hikari Rail Star, the newest version of the Shinkansen Bullet train, all utilize large amounts of aluminium.
While railways were once referred to as ‘the iron way’, today many load-bearing elements of a train as well as carriage bodies, are made completely from aluminium. It is this fact that makes train speeds of over 350 km/h possible. Four out of every five carriage bodies for underground and local trains in Western Europe are now manufactured from aluminium, making the term ‘aluminium way’ much more appropriate.
Calculate lifecycle greenhouse gas
and energy savings with usage of aluminium.
“Aluminium allows Bombardier to manufacture low weight vehicles and thus reduce environmental impact, with a high quality exterior finish”