Captrain España and Alpha Trains sign deal for 21 new EURO6000’s

Spanish railway undertaking Captrain España and Alpha Trains, a leasing company for locomotives and trains, have signed an agreement to lease up to 21 new build EURO6000 locomotives. In parallel, Alpha Trains and Stadler Valencia have executed a frame contract for the purchase and sale of the 6-axle multi-system.

Captrain España and Alpha Trains have already confirmed an initial order for eleven of these EURO6000 locomotives. Five units will have standard gauge and will be certified for the Spanish, French and Luxembourg networks. This will allow those units to be utilised for hauling trains coming from Spain on three European rail freight corridors (North Sea Mediterranean, Mediterranean and Atlantic). They will start from Barcelona and Tarragona and, later on, Valencia and Bilbao.

The remaining six units will be the first of a batch equipped with Iberian gauge, to operate heavy freight trains in Spain on the new 25kV electrified lines, and in particular, through the soon to be opened Pajares tunnel.

Time frame

The delivery of the locomotives is planned for the second half of 2021. The EURO6000s will be entirely manufactured at the Albuixech plant in Valencia. Their main distinguishing feature is their 6 axles, compared to the 4 axles of the majority of the current European fleet.

This order is the outcome of the close cooperation among the engineering teams of Stadler Valencia, Captrain España, Alpha Trains and SNCF, which has been ongoing for a substantial period of time. This cooperation has permitted to design this new type of locomotive that will allow the haulage of heavy freight trains (over 1800 gross tonnes) in the Mediterranean Corridor railway line in Spain, currently under construction in standard gauge.

This Corridor has very specific operating and technical conditions, concerning power supply (three voltages) and signalling (three different signalling systems), in addition to very demanding operational constraints, as it is a mixed high-speed passenger and heavy freight trains railway line.

Short history

The Captrain España and Alpha Trains order is the first received by Stadler for this type of locomotive. Back in 2008, Captrain España (then Comsa Rail Transport) and Alpha Trains also were the launching customers of the very successful Stadler EURO4000 locomotive, of which more than 130 have been delivered since then. In 2018 Alpha Trains also acquired 9 EURO4001 locomotives to operate in France and Belgium and will now broaden the portfolio of Stadler locomotives with the purchase of these multi-system electrical units.

Frédéric Delorme, CEO at SNCF Freight & Intermodal Business states that “SNCF shows with this decision its willingness to be a pioneer in the development of traffic between Spain and Europe; traffic with enormous potential that the railroad must begin to capture from now on. Rail freight has a very small share in Spain, we are convinced that this is a significant step to start increasing it in the cross-border traffics through the Pyrénées”.

Author: Majorie van Leijen

Majorie van Leijen is editor of RailFreight.com, online magazine for rail freight professionals.

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