The Vectron locomotive

29. 11. 2023

Powerful, 8,700 hp / 6,400 kW, 90 tonnes, 160 km/h top speed, almost 19 metres long, over 3 metres wide, over 4 metres high and usable in different countries - this is the ultimate power package on the rails: the Vectron locomotive. 

With every tonne we transport by rail, we ensure that the environment can breathe again. And not only in Austria, but far beyond.  
This also requires the appropriate tractive power. 

The modern ÖBB fleet consists of a large number of locomotives of the most diverse performance classes and forms the basis for safety, customer orientation, economic efficiency, quality and a high-quality workplace.

Our locomotive fleet

We currently have a total of 718 mainline and shunting locomotives in operation, serving an impressive 24,231 freight wagons. More than 75 % of these are already electric locomotives, and the trend is rising. The rest are diesel locomotives.

In the meantime, more than 100 vehicles of this type are in operational service. The locomotives can be used in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe as well as in Germany, the Benelux countries and Italy.

Our business model is sustainable per se. And step by step it is becoming greener: because the more goods that travel by rail, the greener it becomes. The principle behind it is very simple. For every kilometre, every tonne transported by rail protects the environment. This is because rail freight transport causes about 30 times fewer emissions than road freight transport. This means that in Austria alone we save about one million tonnes of CO2 per year. In contrast to road freight transport, rail freight transport causes around 8 times fewer emissions such as nitrogen oxides. This means that we save around one million tonnes of CO2 per year in Austria alone.

In addition, rail freight transport also causes six times lower external costs for noise protection, climate change and accidents, requires only one sixth of the energy compared to road transport and is responsible for only one third of the noise.

Our goal: increasing the daily volume of goods transport

One development that has been taking place for years and that we will continue to do our utmost to achieve in the future is the increase in freight transport volumes. Currently, about one third of the goods in Austria are transported by rail.

In order to shift the increasing volume of traffic to the railways, we are working to increase the share of rail freight transport in the modal split across Europe to 30 % by 2030 in order to achieve the European climate targets.

We are implementing high-frequency long-distance connections for heavy goods, thus linking rail with land transport and sea freight. 

The terminals located on central corridors and in the most important national economic centres form the central link in an integrated intermodal transport chain. In this way, we create the basis for a broad range of services and ensure efficient coordination between shippers, forwarders, operators as well as rail transport companies and shipping companies.

Ongoing investments in the vehicle fleet

In order to further expand the internationalisation activities of freight transport, ÖBB continuously invests in the future of freight transport. This requires regular maintenance, renewal and expansion of the vehicle fleet. 
Because in addition to numerous initiatives to sustainably increase productivity, we invest in the development of innovative wagon material, in technologies and new traction units. By expanding the traction unit fleet, we not only ensure reliable end-to-end logistics solutions, but also invest in the future of environmentally friendly rail freight transport. 

Power that makes the difference

The Vectron from Siemens (locomotive series 1293) is the latest generation for cross-border freight transport. 

Currently, 123 of these multi-system locomotives for alternating and direct current are in service.

With a system output of 8,700 hp (6,400 kW), the Vectron locomotives cover almost the entire European operating area. The Vectron is a so-called multi-system locomotive, which means that it can be used in different countries with different technical framework conditions.
The Vectron is universally applicable and can run under the four main voltages of continental Europe: AC 25 kV and 15 kV, DC 3 kV and 1.5 kV.

More details on the specifications of the Vectron can be found in this traction unit data sheet.


Flexibility as a decisive factor

The modular design of the Vectron allows it to be easily adapted to new requirements when the market demands it. A preconfigured gear ratio allows the use of the entire speed spectrum with only one bogie. For example, a Vectron that is used for freight transport can be upgraded for passenger transport at short notice and equipped accordingly.

Country packages for simple corridor changes

If the locomotive's area of operation changes, so-called country packages can be retrofitted without great effort. They include the necessary high-voltage equipment, national train protection systems and any additional components that may be required.

ÖBB Rail Cargo Group is well positioned with branches in 18 countries. We offer end-to-end logistics solutions from a single source and organise freight transports to the desired destination - whether for block train, single wagon transports or intermodal transports, for all industries and specific requirements. The target network extends from the north-south axis from Germany through the Balkans to Turkey and on towards the trans-Caspian route to China.

Here's our TransNET

Accordingly, our locomotives must also meet the essential requirements. The Vectron is also equipped with the Austrian remote control concept and can be operated in multiple traction with other ÖBB vehicles and can thus be perfectly integrated into the existing fleet. 
Furthermore, the Vectron is equipped with ETCS (European Train Control System), which is a fundamental component for the future standardisation of European railway traffic and thus enables more efficient processes.