škoda 2024

CFL cargo uses its new TRAXX3 MS locomotives

posted on 16th Mar 2024 19:46

On 15 March 2024, CFL cargo announced that it started using first Germany-Luxembourg-Poland TRAXX locomotives. In fact, ERA approval was granted as early as 20 December 2023 (both for the basic version and for the version with last mile diesel). Driver training began in January and the first haulage of a freight train took place on 20 January, but they were not introduced by their operator until approval was recorded into the ERATV database on 14 March 2024.

The entire ten-unit series is put into operation and primarily intended for hauling intermodal trains from the CFL multimodal terminal Bettembourg-Dudelange to Rostock, Lübeck and Swarzędz. Preventive maintenance of locomotives takes place in CFL workshop in Bettembourg. From series 188 060 - 069, machines 065 - 069 are equipped with the Last Mile module.

For the first time, a different version of the TRAXX3 MS machines than the CC01C was approved, the latter corresponding to the locomotives from the ČD Cargo, RegioJet and PCC Intermodal fleets. CFL Cargo is the CC21A version, equipped for operation in Germany, Austria, Poland and Luxembourg. For the time being, operation from the mentioned countries is not permitted in Austria, for the same reasons as for the CC01C version locomotives, i.e. because the EbiCab-type ETCS mobile part is not approved here. The locomotives were ordered in November 2020 with the plan to also be approved in Belgium and France, which is currently not expected until 2025.

In their final configuration, CFL cargo’s new TRAXX3 MS locomotives will be capable for international traffics on the North-South and West-East axis. While the ERA urges that a well-established cross-border railway system is the foundation of European transnational mobility, the agency also admits that the lack of interoperability of the rail network constitutes arguably one of the biggest barriers to accomplishing better connectivity. 

In an effort to provide a short-term, tangible solution to this larger problem at hand, CFL cargo worked closely with Alstom to homologate a locomotive which will be able to bridge the gap between different national rail infrastructures. The locomotives are, for now, homologated for Luxembourg, Germany and Poland, with deployment plans to France, Austria and Belgium in the near future.

CFL cargo plans to integrate these ten TRAXXes in a strategy which aims to combine and optimize the group’s resources by running both intermodal and conventional trains on its corridors. In addition, these TRAXXes are equipped with Last Mile diesel. With the TRAXX MS3 fleet, CFL cargo aims to strengthen the robustness and performance of its trains. The homogenisation of the locomotive fleet will also make it possible to gain in flexibility and therefore in the quality of services.

Max Solvi, COO International, CFL cargo, said: “One of our biggest competitive advantages is the quality of service we provide by combining our conventional services with our intermodal services, which in turn makes us a strong cross-border operator. With our new TRAXX MS3 locomotives, routes such as Poznań - Bettembourg will benefit greatly: where we had to change locomotives in the past, we will now deploy only one TRAXX for the same distance which will increase reliability.“

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