DB Cargo upgrades fleet with dual-mode locomotives

400 Vectron Dual Mode locomotives will be added to DB Cargo’s fleet in the coming years. The vehicles are able to run on both electrified and non-electrified lines. With their help, the German rail freight operator plans to significantly reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Siemens Mobility, a German manufacturer of rolling stock and railway systems, had been chosen by DB Cargo as the supplier of the dual-mode locomotives, which are equipped with two motors, electric and diesel. The relevant framework agreement for more than 1 billion euros was signed on Tuesday, 8 September, in Mainz. DB Cargo has not unveiled the exact terms of the deal. It is only known that the first batch will include 100 Vectron Dual Mode locomotives and they will be delivered to the operator by 2023.

By using innovative vehicles, DB Cargo intends to improve its freight operations, especially the last-mile services. “Even if a main line route is electrified, the last-mile can usually only be driven with an internal combustion engine. The two-motor locomotive can do both. It runs both with a diesel engine and electrically on the routes with overhead wires”, the company stated. After adding the Vectron Dual Mode locos to its fleet, DB Cargo expects to reach the annual fuel savings at around 8 million litres and to reduce CO2 emissions by 17,000 tonnes per year.

Vectron Dual Mode

The Vectron Dual Mode type is a brand new series of locomotives developed on the basis of the conventional Vectron vehicles. Siemens Mobility manufactured of the first unit of the new type two years ago at its Munich-Allach factory in Germany. The new 20-metre-long locomotive weighs 90 tonnes when fueled and has a 2,500-litre fuel tank. Its electric motor has a traction power of 2,000 kilowatts while the diesel engine has a power of 2,400 kilowatts.

The innovative locomotive is adequate to operations on the majority of the European railway network as it has an axle load of 22.5 tonnes and is capable to run on the railways with a gauge of 1,435 millimetres. The first unit of this type will be entered service until the end of 2020 by the German company Railsystems RP.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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