This Vectron news is part of a Siemens pre-Innotrans press package. All information can be found on this dedicated website
Customer requirements make locomotive manufacturers creative. With new orders they can extend their product portfolio and implement new sub version to what is already available.
Siemens however subscribes the versatility of its Vectron platform by presenting alternative and creative configurations by itself. In 2010, the Vectron-quartet was the surprise of the fair. DC, AC, MS and even a diesel-electric locomotive was presented, all built with the same building blocks and modules.
Innotrans 2012 will be about extending the range, partly in practice, partly in theory. At the fair, a Vectron locomotive with additional diesel-generator will be presented. The generator will be an extra module available to all AC and DC versions of the Vectron. One can look at it is a direct response to Bombardier and its TRAXX AC3 locomotive with 'Last Mile' equipment. A useful, hybrid solution for smaller operators, with small fleets, that don't want to be dependent on the availability of a local diesel locomotive, which is not under their control.
However, Bombardier decided to implement it in a whole new base version of the TRAXX platform, and it is not known of the 'Last Mile' feature can be implemented in a TRAXX AC2 (185.2 seires) or a TRAXX DC (483 series) locomotive. In the past two years, the Vectron has been tested and homologated extensively. First approvals are through (RO) or almost completed (SE,DE,AT). The first new TRAXX still has not left its safe-haven in Kassel, more than a year after its presentation, so still has to go trough all the testing. Siemens can strike back here, if they manage to get new orders. Because that is the big question with the Siemens Vectron; who will buy it. Of course, it has been developed for the longer run, but Siemens has invested a large sum of money that it wants to earn back. They won't be able to do that with six units for Railpool and two for FuoriMuro.
However, new, bigger orders are expected. In Europe, the state railways of Finland and DB Schenker in Poland want to modernize their fleet for example. And don't forget that the know-how of the Vectron will also be used for the Cities-Sprinter project for Amtrak.
Vectron Mono Cab
We don't expect a prototype of this one, but yes, it is possible of course to built a Vectron with only one full-fledged cab. A cab is a module on its own and can easily be replaced with something less complicated (the „Heck-End“ is born). And Siemens has done it before, with the diesel-locomotive for Iran. One such unit could be in passenger services. Two units, coupled back to back, can serve as double-locomotive for heavy freight duty.
But ideas are nice and evident, but both configurations are not very common in Europe. Passenger operators only decide to order such a locomotive if their fleet composition leaves them no other option. Train sets are going for the win here.
Double-locomotives are required for long-run, heavy freight trains, and are therefore a more common site in vast countries like Russia and China. But globalization continues. A double-Vectron for Belarus or Brazil maybe?