On July 7, 2015, China's first EMU that will be exported to Europe was offline in the CRRC Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “CRRC Zhuzhou”). The same day, witnessed by Macedonian Transport Minister Mr. Vlado Misajlovski, Vice Governor of Hunan Province Huang Lanxiang, CRRC Vice President Lou Qiliang, as well as the leaders of the national railway authorities of Malaysia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Uzbekistan and other countries, the EMU with a distinct Macedonian style rolled off the production line.
The Macedonian EMU project is not only China's first EMU project for export to Europe, but also its first order for the Chinese EMU products in line with the Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSIs) from the European market.
CRRC Vice President Lou Qiliang said: “CRRC-owned enterprises actively plan for the entry into the European market, successfully participate in the construction of railway facilities in European countries, and promote the development of local rail transport, thereby becoming an active practitioner of China's Belt and Road Initiative.”
Chen Xihong, deputy chief engineer of CRRC Zhuzhou and chief designer of Macedonian EMU, said: “The project fully uses the Company's experience and achievements in fire protection, cold resistance, humane design, hygiene and other aspects of exported EMUs. The whole appearance of the EMU is designed based on the red and yellow colors of Macedonian Flag. The EMU works as a national business card of Macedonia.”
The articulated bogie is for the first time adopted. A tier three collision energy absorption system is used according to the most stringent European standards EN15227: 2008. When two trains both at the speed of 36 km/h collide with each other, or when a train at the speed of 36 km/h hits a 80-ton truck, or when a train at the speed of 50 km/h hits a 15-ton deformable barrier, the vehicle's energy absorption system can ensure the safety of passengers and drivers.
Adhering to the “customer first” philosophy, CRRC Zhuzhou “adds equipment” to the EMU for the key parts and designs the EMU at the speed of 140 kilometers per hour in accordance with the higher technical requirements for the speed of 160 kilometers per hour, which provides a redundancy for the operational safety of the vehicle and reserves a space for the future speed increase to 160 kilometers per hour. In addition, interfaces are reserved for future expansion of grouping and increase in transport capacity.
After the delivery to Macedonia, the EMUs will connect Tabanovce in its north bordering Serbia and Gevgelija in its south bordering Greece and cross the Macedonian capital of Skopje, with the entire length of about 215 kilometers. As an important part of the tenth Pan-European transport corridor, the line assumes 80% of the Macedonian national rail capacity and is the country's busiest railway. The delivery of the EMUs will significantly enhance the passenger capacity of the line and greatly increase the passenger comfort.