Chinese Railway Firm in Imminent Entry into EU Market

There are growing signal and confirmation  that Chinese railway giant,CRRC may be on the  verge of imminent entry into European railway market , has reported.

Also negotiations with Chinese train manufacturer CRRC over new railcar are confirmed for the first time. 

In the race for the takeover of the 17 railcar train sets of the Westbahn, ÖBB is likely to go out empty-handed. Almost one-third owner, Erhard Grossnigg,has confirmed in the KURIER conversation that “negotiations are being conducted with Deutsche Bahn”. 

According to Grossnigg,there is already an offer for the fleet, but that  it has not sold anything yet. This is already known to ÖBB.

The tender of Deutsche Bahn (DB) Fernverkehr AG ended on March 31, 2019. It states that “DB intends to use double-decker reversible electric multiple-unit trains with a seating capacity of more than 500 at short notice for use in intercity traffic”. The negotiations should be pursued swiftly. “The first vehicles have to be delivered at short notice from the timetable change in December 2019”, says the DB.

Excitement: Westbahn sells 17 trains to ÖBB and plans to order new trains in China

The Westbahn is planning “to implement an improved train concept for double-deck trains with the fastest deliverable quality supplier”. It is supposedly about CRRC.

Chinese manufacturer CRRC

Meanwhile, Grossnigg confirms that it is negotiating new train sets with the Chinese manufacturer CRRC. 

According to reports, a favorable financing should play a role, not only the higher speed of the Chinese trimmings.

The excitement about the upcoming EU market entry of the Chinese is not understood at the Westbahn. But the EU has prevented the merger of the railway lines of Siemens and Alstom as a counterweight to the Chinese. 

However,  the French state railway SNCF, the Westbahn minority shareholder, has reservations about the planned China deal, but understood very well the dynamic of the whole planned transactions.

European railway industry trembles

For three years now, CRRC has been looking for a customer that will enable it to enter the European market, according to industry experts. 

With the Westbahn,it has now found such. “If the Chinese make the entry into Europe, then they will invest in a European factory,” says Christian Diewald, CEO of the train manufacturer ,Bombardier Austria.

“And that would not be good. Because a principle applies that state railways can exclude offers in tenders, if the value added did not take place to at least 50 per cent in Europe. But that could be avoided.

Chinese trains have better acceleration.

“It’s always a question of how value is represented and how it is defined,” says Diewald. The Chinese could make the bulk in China and only a minimum in Europe. Should CRRC gain a foothold in Europe, European manufacturers could wrap up.

The deal with CRRC brings the Westbahn still an advantage, so said another insider. Even though the Vienna-Salzburg route is only designed for 230 km / h, the faster Chinese trains bring a big advantage: namely, the better acceleration. This can win a few minutes.

 The aim of the Westbahn is to be the first to cover the distance under two hours and thus to land a coup in a match with the ÖBB.

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