SBB Cargo enlarges locomotive fleet to push freight expansion
Swiss rail freight operator SBB Cargo international has ordered 20 Vectron multisystem locomotives from Siemens Mobility. The operator placed the order in collaboration with German finance group SüdLeasing and is part of a planned expansion of freight capacity on its Swiss rail network.
“The Vectron is the ideal locomotive for our transport operations, being interoperable between the ARA ports (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp) and Italy,” Sven Flore, CEO of SBB Cargo International, explained. The new locomotives benefit from the XLoad system, which offers improved tractive power compared with previous four-axle locomotives. The XLoad system is Siemens’ response to the Euro9000 by Stadler Rail.
Flore of SBB highlighted the flexibility the new additions to the fleet will offer, noting that “with the optional feature XLoad, we will be able to run longer and heavier trains through the Alps in single traction. In many cases, one can even do without an otherwise obligatory lead locomotive. Since the weight of trains for combined freight traffic is limited by maximum permissible train lengths, there is no need to use a more cost-intensive six-axle locomotive.”
The XLoad equipment package offers improved traction performance and increased trailer loads and is designed to work with the Vectron’s maximum operating speed of 160 kilometres per hour. It will also allow SBB to replace two four-axle locomotives with a single new locomotive for some routes.
Siemens’ Vectron fleet has covered over 585 million kilometres to date and is currently approved for operation in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Switzerland. The new Vectron locomotives for SBB Cargo are scheduled to be delivered in 2024.