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DB Cargo Ordered A Batch Of Vectron Dual Mode Locomotives

updated on 9th Sep 2020 22:46 posted on 8th Sep 2020 14:19

Following a tender announced on 1 October 2019, DB Cargo signed on 8 September 2020 the framework agreement worth of well over 1 billion EUR with Siemens Mobility for up to 400 Class 248 Vectron Dual Mode locomotives. They will be delivered with specific adaptations for the range of operations planned by DB Cargo. Simultaneously DB Cargo ordered 100 locomotives, with deliveries scheduled to start in 2023.

With the new locomotives, DB Cargo will save around 8 million litres of fuel and 17,000 tons of CO2 every year. DB Cargo's goal is to achieve around 70 % of a diesel fleet with the innovative powerline by 2030.

We posed both DB Cargo and Siemens a couple of questions, and we subsequently received answer from DB Cargo as follows:

1) When the tender was decided? "The tender for the framework contract was decided on 17 August 2020."

2) Which criteria were used in the tender? And with what percentage? "This is subject to the confidentiality of the procedure. We cannot therefore answer this question."

3) Which manufacturers participated in the tender? "This is subject to the confidentiality of the procedure. We cannot therefore answer this question."

4) Until when do the options for up to 400 locomotives apply? "This is subject to the confidentiality of the procedure. We cannot therefore answer this question."

5) What exactly does mean the „specific adaptations for the range of uses planned by DB Cargo“? Will the power of the diesel engine be higher than 2,400 kW? Will the output in both modes (electric and diesel) still 2,000 kW as before? Which specific adjustments on the locomotives are asked? "The diesel engine will have a nominal output of 950 kW, in E-mode the locomotive output remains at up to 2,200 kW. In addition, the visible platforms for shunters at the locomotive ends and a radio remote control will be integrated, and others."

6) Will the locomotives have the ETCS? "Yes, probably from 2025."

7) How large (dimensions in mm) are the new platforms on the locomotive ends? Does it mean that the new long high-performance buffers will be installed there? And that these locomotives will be longer than 19,975 mm on the previous Vectron DM locomotives? (how many mm?). Was this construction requested by DB Cargo, or is it a Siemens innovation? "The details of the construction, which was required in the tender conditions, and any necessary adjustments are still in the coordination process." 

8) Will the DB Cargo's Class 248 locomotives be only authorised in Germany? Or is authorisation for other (which) countries also planned? "For the time being, only authorisation in Germany is planned."

9) „With the new locomotives, DB saves around 8 million liters of fuel and 17,000 tons of CO2 every year.“ The information applies to 100 or 400 locomotives? "The information applies to 100 locomotives."

10) „DB Cargo's goal is to equip around 70 % of diesel locomotives with innovative drives by 2030.“ How many diesel locomotives does DB Cargo plan to have in 2030? How many does DB Cargo currently have in its fleet? "The values mentioned are guidelines based on the current strategy and may change over the coming years. Therefore, unfortunately, we cannot give any specific numbers. As of 1 January 2020 DB Cargo had around 800 diesel locomotives."

It cannot be overlooked that with such changed performance parameters together with the installation of front platforms for shunting staff and remote control, the original purpose of the Vectron is somewhat changed from a main line locomotive with the same power in both electric and diesel mode to a rather Last Mile locomotive with almost shunting character. By way of comparison: the SBB Class Aem 940 locomotives (Prima H4 from Alstom) have an output of 2,000 kW in electric mode and 900 kW in diesel mode.

This is a second order for Vectron Dual Mode locomotives, followed that from Railsystems RP, Gotha, awarded in November 2019. The first locomotive of the new Siemens bi-mode family, 248 001, was presented in March 2019.

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