škoda 2024

Alstom to supply 16 TRAXXes to Romania

posted on 29th Jan 2024 15:50

On 29 January 2024 Alstom and the Romanian Railway Reform Authority (ARF, Autoritatea pentru Reformă Feroviară) have signed a contract for the delivery of 16 TRAXX3 MS locomotives and 20 years of associated maintenance services. The contract, totaling around 150 million EUR, extends Alstom’s collaboration with ARF within the rolling stock sector. The 20-year maintenance and repair period can be extended by a further 20 years by concluding an additional agreement. 

The locomotives will have a maximum speed of 200 km/h, which is the second order for the TRAXXes with that top speed after the contract by SNCB, signed in February 2022. The new locomotives will be equipped with Alstom’s on-board ETCS and will be able to haul up to 16 passenger cars. They are envisaged to be used on the following routes: 
- Dej - Brașov - București - Constanța;
- Timișoara - Arad - Brașov - București - Constanța;
- Timișoara - Cluj-Napoca - Iași;
- Iași/Suceava - București - Constanța.

The project implementation period is 60 months, project activities started in November 2021 and must be completed by 30 December 2026.

We asked Alstom how it can manage to deliver ARF the new 200 km/h TRAXXes until end of 2026, if: „On 1 February 2022, Alstom has signed a framework agreement to deliver up to 50 TRAXX3 MS locomotives with a maximum speed of 200 km/h to SNCB. The first firm order covers the design, manufacturing and homologation of 24 locomotives. Deliveries are expected to start in 2026.“ 

Alstom answered: „It is not possible to extrapolate generalised delivery times for a product from a single project. Delivery dates are always agreed individually with every customer, based on specific requirements, scope of the project, availability of materials and production capacity.“

To this we may add that this fact is clear. But the 200 kmh TRAXX is in fact a new locomotive, which will require too much testing. Thus there is still a good portion of work to be done on testing and autorisation. In only slighlty more than two years (2024 - 25) it is a very ambitious goal to deliver the complete, homologated locomotives in 2026 for ARF. Just look at how long (around since 2018) Siemens has been approving a modified version of the Vectron with top speed increased from 200 to 230 km/h. Time will therefore tell to what extent Alstom's plan for approving a new 200 km/h version of the TRAXX will come to fruition.

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