posted on 20th Mar 2023 16:30
On 13 March 2023, ERA issued approval for EURO9000 locomotives. It is valid for operation in Germany, and a week later approval for operation in Austria was issued, in the standard form of an Extended Area of Use (XAU). In fact, this is not directly a type approval, but approval for the variant of the type, since in terms of approval the EURO9000 is only listed as a variant of the (previously approved) EURODUAL type.
This is thus a significant step for these machines, which represent a completely new dimension of dual-mode locomotives, as it is a quadruple-voltage version. The power output in electric mode is up to 9,000 kW on AC systems, 6,400 kW on 3 kV DC and 4,500 kW on 1.5 kV DC. All the locomotives ordered so far will be fitted with two Caterpillar C32 engines of 950 kW each and equipped to operate in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Initially ELP expected to achieve approval in all of these countries at once, but subsequently a plan has been drawn up to approve the type in Germany, Austria and Switzerland first, with the other countries to follow later in the form of XAU. ELP has not provided an actual assumption on the further progress, given the unpredictability of the processes involved.
So far, the only customer for EURO9000 locomotives is the European Loc Pool, with 30 machines ordered so far, for which it has already concluded full-service leasing contracts for at least 20 for seven carriers. The first lessee was the Dutch operator Rail Force One (RFO). The locomotive 2019 302 exhibited at InnoTrans 2022 is the first one of the batch intended for RFO.
ELP has also ordered 74 EURODUALs of the 15/25 kV version. Of these 104 locomotives in total, it has so far concluded full-service leasing contracts for 85 ones and expects to sign contracts for a number of others in the coming weeks.
The same EURO9000 locomotive and one EURODUAL are currently in Austria for testing purposes. The EURODUAL type of the 15/25 kV version has already received approval there, but limited only to lines of class D4xL. The aim of the current test runs is to further optimise the classification of these types for operation on the Austrian network.