I walk along the technological aisle of the assembly shop, on the right and left sides there are cars of different degrees of readiness. Here are the trolleybuses, the color of which is dominated by blue, they will go, as can be seen from the sticker on the windshield, to St. Petersburg. Blue trolleybuses will go to Yekaterinburg, and white ones with a red stripe will go to Krasnodar. To ensure high quality and not violate the production schedule, the distraction of specialists is strictly prohibited. Therefore, Oleg Bytsko, deputy general director of the company, acts as a guide:
- The Russian market today accounts for up to 97% of export deliveries, we work under contract.
Last year, 49 new generation trolleybuses model 32100D with increased autonomous operation were sold in St. Petersburg. This year we will send another 48 such machines to the city on the Neva. They will also receive Murmansk, Petrozavodsk, Bratsk. A contract was signed for 45 trolleybuses with Yekaterinburg, for 60 with Krasnodar. 170 model T811 trams are to be manufactured for Nizhny Novgorod…
This project is interesting in that a transition was made from direct deliveries to a higher level of integration – to joint production. So, initially, four trams, almost entirely made in Minsk, were sent to Nizhny Novgorod. And at the third stage, assembly will take place in the joint venture Nizhekotrans from Belarusian car kits with a high degree of localization of production. 12 fully low-floor Minsk tram cars will be built for Samara, 10 for Barnaul.
The considerable scale of such deliveries is explained by the fact that in many Russian cities there is an urgent need to modernize the rolling stock of urban transport. For example, the oldest tram in Barnaul is 48 years old, and more than 300 cars circulating in Samara were produced in Soviet times. The average age of trolleybuses in Yekaterinburg is more than 25 years, and the cars have to be constantly repaired. Why is the renovation being done at the expense of Belarusian products, when Russia has its own factories for the production of passenger vehicles?
- We receive all Russian orders on a competitive basis, – says Oleg Bytsko. – There are several components of success: a modern technical and design level, high quality, the fullest consideration of customer requests. And, above all, the transition of Belarus and Russia to a single industrial policy, the removal of barriers that limited the admission of engineering products to each other’s markets due to union integration, facilitates the work.
What attracts Russians to Belarusian electric transport? If we talk about trolleybuses, it is mainly their ability, thanks to the integrated energy storage devices, to autonomously cover up to 20 kilometers of travel. The accumulators are recharged by moving along the line of the overhead contact network, which eliminates the need to build expensive charging stations. The car can also transport passengers where a rather capital-intensive power supply network of copper wires has not yet been laid. So, this year, the Krasnodar trolleybus fleet should be improved by 40% due to the purchase of vehicles made in Belarus without additional infrastructure. The new cars will allow residents of the Gubernsky, Panorama, German Village residential complexes, Western Bypass district, Komsomolsky microdistrict, Pashkovsky residential area to comfortably reach the center and other places of the city.
At the request of Russian customers, traction motors, tires, other equipment are installed on Belarusian vehicles…
As for the trams, the Russians were attracted by completely low-floor four-door cars 16.5 meters long. Designed for 150 passengers, they have 35 seats and in the central part of the cabin there is a platform for wheelchairs and large luggage. Air conditioning, a CCTV system with eight cameras, USB connectors for charging gadgets, auto-informants and electronic dashboards are also provided. A door opening system is also installed at the request of the passenger.
The availability of these and other innovations is subject to negotiation. At the request of Russian customers, traction motors, tires and other equipment of one or another manufacturer are installed on the machines. St. Petersburg machines are equipped with energy storage devices from the Russian company RENERA. By the way, the capacity of the drive, and therefore the price, may also vary.
The project is important insofar as a transition has taken place from procurement to co-production. Photo: Alexander Kushner
p class=””>In many ways, these measures were a response to economic sanctions. They were successfully overcome thanks to the modern skills held by BKM Holding and its industrial cooperation partners.
- A year ago, the Western partner stopped shipping already paid rear axles to trolleybuses, – recalls Oleg Bytsko. – I had to reorient myself urgently towards the bus decks. It was possible to carry out the replacement without loss of quality and without disrupting the delivery schedule thanks to the traction motors of the Mogilevliftmash plant. A little more difficult with electronics. Modern trams and trolleybuses are so saturated with them that they are called computers on wheels. Here we place great hopes on the allied program to develop the production of the corresponding components.
And after? The future belongs to the production of electric buses, this topic is currently being actively discussed within the framework of the EEU and the State of the Union. And on the designers’ screens, the first features of the hydrogen fuel cell transport of the future are already emerging. By the way, in Soviet times the company was created in Minsk to repair trolleybuses made in the RSFSR.
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