The Korea Herald


Hyundai Rotem wins bullet-train export deal from Uzbekistan

By Moon Joon-hyun

Published : June 16, 2024 - 19:18

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Uzbekistan's new high-speed trains manufactured by Hyundai Rotem (Hyundai Rotem) Uzbekistan's new high-speed trains manufactured by Hyundai Rotem (Hyundai Rotem)

For the first time, a Korean high-speed rail vehicle will be deployed internationally, with Uzbekistan as the destination.

Hyundai Rotem announced Friday that it has secured a 270 billion won ($194 million) contract to supply and maintain power-distributed high-speed trains for Uzbek Railways in collaboration with the Korea Railroad Corporation. Hyundai Rotem is a Korean rail transport manufacturer that pioneered the nation’s first high-speed rail system, the Korea Train Express, in 2004.

These new high-speed trains, akin to Korea's six-carriage KTX-Eum, also known as the EMU-260, will operate at speeds of up to 250 kilometers per hour. Each train set will comprise seven carriages, providing a total of 389 seats.

This deal marks the first introduction of power-distributed trains in Uzbekistan. Unlike power-centralized trains, which rely on a single locomotive, power-distributed trains have power units spread across all carriages. This configuration enhances acceleration and deceleration while increasing cabin space. Currently, more than 70 percent of the world's high-speed trains use this efficient system.

Hyundai Rotem will tailor these trains to meet Uzbekistan's specific railway conditions. Uzbekistan's tracks are 1,520mm wide, unlike the 1,435mm standard gauge in Korea. Therefore, the trains will be equipped with wider bogies and power units adapted to local electricity standards. Additionally, the trains will feature stairs to match Uzbekistan's platform height of 200 millimeters.

These high-speed trains will service routes totaling 1,216 kilometers, connecting the capital, Tashkent, with Bukhara, covering 590 kilometers, as well as new routes from Bukhara to Hiva, spanning 430 kilometers, and from Misken to Nukus, covering 196 kilometers.

This contract marks Korean high-speed rail technology's entrance into the global market. Korea has dedicated over 30 years and invested more than 2.7 trillion won into the research, development and refinement of high-speed rail technology, with the long-term goal of exporting it globally.