Press Release


Skytrain in China – Lightweight Construction in Compact Design

  • Single-stage bevel gear transmission
  • Mechanical pump ensures reliable and improved lubrication of the bearing
  • Maintenance elements of the transmission are easily accessible

With the reliable, weight and noise-optimized ZF transmissions, city trains and trams ensure energy-efficient and thus both economic and environmentally friendly passenger transport.

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Skytrain in China – Lightweight Construction in Compact Design

ZF's new development was designed to meet transportation requirements in Guizhou Province, China. Growing traffic volumes are also a challenge for large cities and transport operators, however: The aim is to ensure inner-city mobility without compromising the quality of life. ZF driveline technology provides help in walking this very thin line in the form of light, electrically powered rail vehicles.

The Skytrain is an automatically controlled, driverless large-car suspension train, which has been in operation in Vancouver since the 1980s. In Germany, the Skytrain is used for urban transport in Düsseldorf and Dortmund. The new development from ZF will now be deployed in the tourist region of Huangguoshu Waterfall. The start of operation is scheduled for the end of 2016.

Every vehicle is equipped with six bogies, each of which with two integrated transmission units from ZF Friedrichshafen AG that are connected to a motor via a clutch, respectively.

In addition to reliable functioning, the operator makes high demands on environmental friendliness and design. For that reason, the engineers paid a lot of attention to the transmission's outer appearance when developing it.

The transmission stands out due to its slim design and a weight of approximately 240 kg. Thanks to this compact design, the transmission can easily be integrated into the bogie, taking up little installation space. The oil ducts for oil-feeding are already integrated into the transmission.

Thanks to the mechanical oil pump, the system does not require an electrical connection to the bogie. This ensures reliable and improved lubrication of the bearing.

Ideal gear geometry was considered very important in this project because it reduces noise emissions and increases efficiency, thus improving both the passengers' comfort and the residents' quality of life.


Georg Ehling

Head of Marketing and Business Development

+49 7541 77-2199