Today TX Logistik released more details on their new fleet strategy, that will soon be based on owning a considerable part of its fleet, in stead of leasing/hiring locomotives form others. The new multisystem electrics will predominantly be operated on the north-south corridor Germany - Austria - Italy. On this route, TX Logistik is currently making around 60 'rounds' every week. Optionally, some new locomotives will be equipped for Switzerland and the Netherlands.
TX Logistik plans to finalize the order in 2017. The delivery of the new locomotives is planned for 2018-2020. All machines will have ETCS on board. The system will be prepared fur upgrade to baseline 3.
While searching for a Czech operator issuing its third tender, we also stumbled upon an entry from the Dutch railways (NS) that "intends to conclude a framework agreement for a period of 5 years (with the possibility for extension for an additional 3x1 years) with all selected suppliers capable of providing (a) lease(s) for (a) TRAXX DABNL locomotive(s) that are suitable for use on the Dutch network, including HSL (High Speed Line) and the Belgian Network (including line 4) and suitable for sandwich operation with the existing fleet of NS Traxx DABNL Locomotives and ICRmh Coaches, on all routes."
The end date for interested parties to submit a bid is 03.03.2017.
Railcolor: NS is also looking for more DE/AT/BE/NL configured locomotives for pulling Intercity Direct services. NS already has 66 such machines in its fleet (45 in ownership, 21 on hire from Alpha Trains and Macquarie Rail), of which 61 units are currently available to NS' Intercity Direct program. Three other units are being used for software tests: 186 002, 186 122 and 186 236. The workshops in Dessau have just completed a revision 186 240 and 186 237 is subhired by NS to the Belgian railways to pull trains between Amsterdam and Brussels.
Same locomotive. Same place. Same livery. What is different? The date: 2009 versus 2017... This week Bombardier completed the R1 overhaul on Alpha Trains 186 349 (REV 21.02.2017). Photos: Christian Klotz
In 2014, MRCE ES 64 F4-212 and 213 got this special livery to celebrate the second anniversary of the ERSR Rotterdam - Poznan shuttle. Photo: Marco Rodenburg
We are closely monitoring the status of electric locomotives operated by ERS Railways from Rotterdam. Mother company Genessee & Wyoming has decided to discontinue most ERS routes and to drastically shrink its operations. G&W wants to bring back its remaining business on the EU continent (port switching and maritime intermodal) back to profitability by mid-2017.
G&W from the United States is the owner of the Freightliner Group, that acquired ERS Railways in 2013. An overview of the ERSR fleet of electrics, all on hire from MRCE:
ES64F4-201 (MRCE black, ERSR logos) has transferred to LTE
ES64F4-202 (yellow/silver, ERSR logos) subhired to LTE on daily basis
ES64F4-203 (yellow/silver, ERSR logos) subhired to LTE on daily basis
Close-up of a ČD 380 series locomotive by Norbert Tilai.
Early 2016, České dráhy (ČD) issued a tender for leasing multi-system electrics, without success. On December 17, a second attempt was made, again for 10 electrics, again without result. On 21.02.2017, ČD has released a third tender for the lease of ten electrics.
Compared to the second tender, the number of locomotives and their specification did not change, nor did the contract value:
- 10 electric locomotives
- for speeds up to 200 km/h
- for period of 120 months (= 5 year)
- including regular maintenance
- contract volume: 48 million euro
- deadline: 27.03.2017
Railcolor: ČD is in need of faster locomotives than it currently has, to be used on the relation Prague - Hamburg for example. ČD does own multi-system electrics, but none have a topspeed of 200 km/u. The ČD 380 series electrics technically meet the requirement, but the German authorities do not allow them to run at speeds of 200 km/h.
The first two electrics in the livery of Mercitalia, hired from lease company Akiem. Picture by Massimiliano Giovanetti
Ferrovie.it reports: Today, FS Italiane has presented its plans for Mercitalia, the new umbrella brand for the group freight and logistics operations. FS Italiane wants its unprofitable freight division (70 million euro loss in 2016) to make money again, with the help of private investors, and by ordering new rolling stock. In ten years, the turnover of the Mercitalia activities should be doubled, from 1 billion euro now to 2 billion euro in 2026.
Mercitalia is comprised of seven companies that will employ around 4.000 people, being Mercitalia Rail, TX Logistik, Cemat, Mercitalia Transport Services, Mercitalia Terminal, Terminal AlpTransit (TerAlp) and TLF.
Updated: TX Logistik and Mercitalia Rail have issued a non-binding call for expressions of interest (EOIs) for a contract to supply and maintain up to 125 electric locomotives. The expiration date is 17.03.2017.
- 30 (+30 option) 3kV DC locomotives, min.5.2 MW
- 40 (+25 option) 15kV/25kV AC + 1.5kV/3kV DC, min. 5.6MW
Deliveries of locomotives for both operators will begin in the third quarter of 2018, with a minimum of two locomotives per calendar month. The locomotives must be fully homologated at the date of first delivery.
Railcolor: It is clear that FS Italiane has to rejuvenate its fleet quickly and drastically, to keep up with competition. Domestic railfreight services are still the (almost)exclusive domain of electrics and diesel locomotives inherited from the time there was no open-access freight transport in Italy yet. Using the E403 for freight trains, and the hiring of MRCE / SBB Cargo International / Akiem locomotives can not be seen as structural solutions. TX Logistik, that is operational in many European countries now, does have a modern locomotive fleet, but almost all are hired from lease companies. If the EOI materializes in a final order, it will drastically change the fleet strategy of TX Logistik.
Wanting fully homologated DC and MS locomotives by the end of 2018, narrows down the choice for Mercitalia/TX Logistik considerably. By then, only Siemens' Vectron (191 and 193) and Bombardier's TRAXX platform (186 and 483) will meet this demand.
Seen today by Oliver Scholz in Munich: MRCE X4E-861, with boxXpress stickers. The locomotive was under repair during the last months, after its derailment in Beimerstetten [DE]. The locomotive ran over a scotch block and ended up in the railway ballast almost tipping over.
On 16.02.2017 the news was published that SNCF Logistics, responsible for logistics and freight transport within the SNCF Group, as been selected by BLS Cargo as its new partner. SNCF Logistics will acquire 45% of the shares in BLS Cargo, if the deal is approved by the competition authorities. BLS remains the majority shareholder with a 52% share. The remaining 3% is property of the Ambrogio Group (IMT).
X4E-640 during trails in December 2016. Today the locomotive was handed over to MRCE and TX Logistik. Photo: Peider Trippi
Good news for Siemens, and its customers. The Italian railway authorities have granted approval for the multisystem version of the Vectron platform built for MRCE. This lease company has 21 Vectron MS locomotives on order, equipped for services in Germany, Austria and Italy (DE/AT/IT). The first batch of eleven, the designated X4E 640-650, is nearing completion.
Freight operator TX Logistik took delivery of the first MRCE Vectron MS today in Munich. It is the X4E-640 in its colorful 'Connecting Europe' livery. You may have seen this machine at InnoTrans 2016.
The approval of the Vectron multisystem locomotive for Italy is an important milestone. Next to MRCE, Lokomotion, Alpha Trains, ELL, BLS Cargo, Reichmut/SBB Cargo International and the Austrian Railways have machines (on order) that are to be operated in Italy. The DC version (3 kV DC voltage system only) of the Vectron is already authorized for Italy since july 2015.
After its career at B Logistics, a new employer has been found for Alpha Trains 186 346: Railtraxx from Belgium. Torsten Giesen was able to picture the locomotive and its freight train on 11.02.2017 at Aachen-Steppenberg on its way to the "Gemmenicher Tunnel" on the Montzen-route.
New logos for Railpool > RTB Cargo 185 672: the elephant stickers are gone. Instead the machine now sports the logos of its operator and Mosolf, a company specialized in car logistics. Photo: Michael Goll