Elisabeth Fiala
is social media communicator in the Rail Cargo Group
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New trains for freight traffic

We continue to invest in the future of freight traffic – among other things, this requires the regular renewal of our rolling stock fleet and the corresponding procurement of stock.

200 new locomotives, which will be used in more than ten European countries, will be added to our locomotive fleet. 30 multi-system locomotives for alternating current as well as direct current will be ordered by 2018, to make our rail freight services even faster, more efficient and more reliable.

“Europe is our market, not just Austria. The new locomotives will provide for further growth in international freight traffic and an increase in our own traction in Europe: for instance, from Czechia to Italy or Germany to Slovenia”, says Andreas Matthä, CEO of ÖBB.

Finding the preferred bidder

To find the preferred bidder, it was necessary to specify clear and objectively verifiable criteria, in order to treat all bidders equally. Specifically, in addition to the price of energy consumption, the maximum possible trailing load (train weight) was assessed, as were the maintenance costs. The TCO model (Total Cost of Ownership) was used for the procurement; this ensures that all economic and technical criteria have been correctly assessed.

After an international tendering procedure, Siemens was finally identified as the preferred bidder. The framework agreement envisages the delivery of up to 200 electric locomotives of the Vectron type. The framework agreement includes three different types of locomotives: As well as multi-system locomotives for the European alternating current and direct current networks, alternating current locomotives with or without last-mile diesel engines can also be requested. This means that we can order according to our requirements. This allows even more use focussed on our requirements – matched to the respective route conditions. For our customers, the investment in new rolling stock means higher quality and even more reliability.

Possibilities for use

The new locomotives are compatible with the entire ÖBB fleet – an important aspect, because as soon as two locomotives are required for a train, only one of the locomotives controls it. So the new locomotives can, for instance, be controlled from a Taurus locomotive and vice-versa. They are technically suitable for all European standard gauge lines, as the locomotives also comply with the European rules for a harmonised railway system. Overall, nine countries are firmly anchored in the contract; they can be equipped for ten other countries via options. So, we are equipped for all of our markets for the medium and long term.

The locomotives are being manufactured by Siemens in Munich. The whole “power heart” of the locomotives – bogies, drive, transmission and traction motors – are being manufactured by Siemens in Graz.

Special features in comparison to Europe

The ÖBB have fulfilled all the relevant assessment points. For instance, the trailing load and energy consumption were measured and specified in practical running tests over the Tauern route. In this way, the ÖBB have met their statutory obligation for the proper examination of bids. Furthermore, the alternative bidder raised no objections, something that is fairly rare in the course of such tendering processes.

Main technical details

–           5,600 kW power output (approx. 7,600 hp)

–           90 tonnes weight

–           Four powered axles

–           19.00m long

–           160 km/h max. speed

–           Radio remote control

–          Modern European Train Control System (ETCS)

–           All the required national train protection and communication systems