In the beginning there was a vision: to design and build a diesel locomotive within the framework of the existing Bombardier TRAXX family of hitherto only electric locomotives. Even though diesel locomotives have many differences to electrics, with the TRAXX DE they share more in common than most people expect.
On 23 January winter arrived with a vengeance, and the two TRAXX DEs started four days of load tests. VUZ usually hires in CD's Class 743 diesels for this purpose, since they are fitted with electrodynamic brakes, while for higher speeds various types of electric locomotive are used (usually either CD's Class 151 or ZSSK's Class 350). However, these types do not possess sufficient braking power for testing the Class 246s, so another TRAXX was employed instead - CFL's 4015. Here we see 4015 and 246 001 with their support coach sandwiched between them on the large circuit at Cerhenice on 25 January. The following day 4015 and 246 002 departed for Germany, where the TRAXX DE was to start certification testing at Görlitz using a rake of push-pull stock. 246 001 stayed at Cerhenice for further tests, these being completed on 15 February, and it left for Germany the next day.
Photo: Petr Kaderavek