(Yicai Global) July 24 -- Chinese rail equipment maker Maanshan Iron and Steel has become the first Chinese company to export wheels for high-speed trains after delivering 160 to Germany.
Masteel sent the wheels to transport service provider Deutsche Bahn's base in Wittenberg, news site The Paper reported. The wheels are suitable for trains traveling at up to 320 kilometers per hour.
Chinese companies are currently building a number of high-speed rail links overseas, but none have ever exported wheels for the trains. Masteel bagged the contract in the second half of last year and completed production in March before obtaining technical specification for interoperability certification, and becoming Deutsche Bahn's first direct supplier in Asia.
"Masteel high-speed rail wheels have made substantial progress toward getting certification to supply other European markets," said Liu Liu, deputy director of quality supervision at the firm. "After taking wheel maintenance orders [in those countries], we will look to make wheels to expand our market share there."
Deutsche Bahn is one of Europe's top transport providers and initially contracted Masteel to carry out wheel maintenance. The Chinese partner then ramped up research and development and within the year had secured its first deal to sell new wheels abroad. Masteel is China's biggest rail wheel maker with a 90 percent market share on wheels for passenger carriages. In July 2016, its products were used to set a record-high train speed of 420 kilometers an hour.
Editor: James Boynton