Voith completes 3,100 American-produced gearboxes on East Coast metro system

  • The six-year contract called for 3,100 gearboxes for use in a new metro train fleet
  • The contract was fulfilled at Voith’s Pennsylvania facility, helping the fleet manufacturer meet U.S. production requirements
The Voith team involved in the SZ370 gearbox contract gathered around the final gearbox to be shipped in late 2018.
YORK, Pa. (May 6, 2019) – Voith is celebrating the completion of a large, multi-year gearbox contract with a major train manufacturer. The gearboxes, 3,100 in total, will be in the propulsion systems for new trains going to an East Coast transit authority.

Voith produced its SZ370 gearboxes exclusively for the train manufacturer, and they were specially designed by Voith to meet the metro system’s specifications for its new train fleet. The contract started in 2012 and was completed in late 2018. It called for four gearboxes per train, which equates to two gearboxes per bogie or one for every axle.

“Because the fleet manufacturer needed a high volume of locally-sourced products, they turned to Voith. Not only did they recognize we provide custom engineering and design to expertly build quality products, but we also have a U.S.-based workforce, which they needed to meet their specific production goals,” said Bret Morgan, Vice President Application Engineering, Voith Turbo Inc. “In fact, for many U.S. transit systems, localized production is a significant part of their decision making due to government rules that demand American manufacturing. In the end, the manufacturer was pleased – the gearboxes fully met their quality expectations and the manufacturer also met their local production requirements.”

This was the case for the SZ370 order, as the contract with the vehicles’ manufacturer included a 60 percent American production requirement. Voith was able to fulfill that need thanks to its Pennsylvania production facility, skilled American workforce and network of U.S.-based component suppliers. As a result, the American production requirement provided a trickle-down effect in the local economy – the exact intent of the mandates calling for American-made products.

“The gearbox contract provided a tremendous amount of work for our shop employees through the last six years. Beyond helping our own workers, the transit authority’s manufacturing requirements also delivered a benefit of more work for our local supply chain. Since we were making monthly deliveries to the manufacturer through the length of the project, we had a large number of components sourced from other U.S. manufacturers. This project was a win for numerous businesses we work with,” Morgan said. “Not only did this contract deliver a great product, but we also had an opportunity to test our capabilities. With the SZ370 order’s size and scope, we were really able to fine-tune how we handle such projects, and our experience here is going to benefit our future customers. We look forward to our next opportunity.”

Aside from the magnitude of the contract and its U.S.-made stipulations, the transit authority and the train manufacturer had specific weight, performance and reliability standards that Voith was required to meet.

“We had to create a successful gearbox design that met those standards. We were focused on developing a reliable gearbox that included an extended warranty,” Morgan added. “This level of customization is developed for most projects. We work with our customers to make sure they get what they need, and we did that here to great success.”

The propulsion systems supplied are being installed in the metro system’s new fleet of trains, and a number of those are already in service. In total, more than 700 new trains are being built with the Voith gearboxes.

About the Voith Group
Voith is a global technology group. With its broad portfolio of systems, products, services and digital applications, Voith sets standards in the markets of energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, today Voith has more than 19,000 employees, sales of $5 billion and Locations in over 60 countries worldwide, and is one of the largest family-owned companies in Europe. For more information, visit www.voith.com.

The Group Division Voith Turbo is part of the Voith Group and a specialist for intelligent drive solutions, systems as well as comprehensive services. Customers from highly diverse industries such as oil and gas, energy, rail and commercial vehicles, ship technology, mining and mechanical engineering rely on the advanced technologies and solutions-driven expertise of Voith.