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Renfe Mercancias S/253: First trials  
At the end of November 2007 the S/253 001 was completed and ready for its first dynamic trials. It was transported by road trailer to Siemens test centre Wegberg-Wildenrath in Germany, where two 1435 mm normal gauge bogies were already waiting for the machine. With the cranes it was placed on its temporary feet and throughout December the S/253 001 was running in the various test tracks. On 29.11.2007 also S/253 002 left the factories in Vado Ligure, with destination Villaverde, Spain. In Villaverde this machine will be the first one that will be placed on actual 1668 mm wide gauge bogies. Starting in May 2008, 253 001 and 002 were subjected to numerous trials in Spain, concentrating around Madrid. It is expected that the first S/253 will be officially handed over to Renfe by the end of September 2008.

During the test runs at Wegberg one could take a good look at the details of the Spanish Traxx machine for the first time. Its two central head lights are placed above the front windows and on top of the cabs extra powerful air conditioning equipment is available to cope with hot weather circumstances in Spain. Remarkable is that the frame at both cabin ends is repainted black again, although the first pictures from the factory in Italy show two all white painted cabs. The S/253 series also misses some features indicating itís a Traxx 2E generation machine. Its sidewalls are smooth, no edges indicating where a ventilation grid could be and also the opening for a fuel tank is not there. These alterations where partly neccessary to meet the specific demands of Renfe and to be able to cope with the special wather conditions on the Iberic peninsula. On the other hand, such a large order volume makes it more easy to moderate a standard platform.

S/253 001 hoovers over the assembly area in Vado Ligure, July 2007. Note that the body has all white painted cabs.