At the end of 2003, the Alstom factories in Charleroi presented the Prima 6000 concept, a multi-system version of the Prima platform. Compared with the SNCF Fret units, it has more power, 6000 kW duration power (hence the name) in stead of the standard 4200 kW, and it is able to run under all four voltage systems generally used in Europe.
The Prima 6000 was developed by Alstom to be able to offer an alternative to Siemens' EuroSprinter and Bombardier's Traxx platform, which at time already incorporated a multi-system version. More specifically, Alstom wanted to run for the SNCB order for sixty new electrics by that time, but that was not a success (Siemens was awarded with the order in 2006, resulting in the new SNCB Reeks 18). The French railways were also not interested in this machine up till now. It became more and more an demonstrator for Alstom over time, making it possible to evaluate new parts en technologies.
The Prima 6000 was built in 2003 in Alstom's own expense, and it was painted in the SNCF Fret livery. In 2005 the machine also got a SNCF service number, 447 001, but the unit has never been officially part of the French fleet. The locomotive has not been homologated for any national network.
From 13.06.2006 to 23.06.2006, the P6000 ran in Belgium, later that year it was present at Innotrans 2006 in Berlin. Then the machine was retrieved again, back to the Belfort factories. From then on you could say the unit was serving the Prima II development and homologation program. It became a test unit for evaluating technolgies of the new Prima II platform. In May-June the P6000 was used for ECTS and ATB trials in the Netherlands:
From a press release from Alstom:
On 8, 9, 15 and 16 June 2008, Alstom Transport carried out a series of tests on its Prima 6000 locomotive in the Netherlands, on the Betuweroute, a freight corridor linking the port of Rotterdam to Germany. Alstom Transport teams from the Belfort, Tarbes (France), Utrecht (Netherlands) and Charleroi (Belgium) sites tested the integration of the ERTMSı and ATB² signalling systems on board a Prima electric locomotive prototype, equipped with ATLAS automatic train control system.
These tests allowed Alstom to validate the locomotive's compatibility with European (ERTMS) and local (ATB) signalling systems. In particular, the Alstom teams checked that the locomotive operated correctly with the three levels of the ERTMS (0,1 et 2) for communication by beacon or radio.
Alstom decided to run these tests on the Betuweroute for two reasons: it is the first freight line equipped with operational ERTMS beacons. The Betuweroute is also a strategic rail route for freight operators since it provides access to the port of Rotterdam, Europe's biggest goods port.
This series of tests is in line with Alstom's strategy of offering its customers locomotives capable of operating on the main trans-European corridors in France, Belgium, Germany and Holland. The results of these tests will allow Alstom to integrate ERTMS-compatible equipment in the development of its new Prima II locomotive and to guarantee its customers, by 2010, delivery of these new locomotives approved on the Betuweroute and European corridors equipped with ERTMS.
In 2009, the P6000 was fully dismantled in Belfort. It lost most of its electric equipment, its bogies were re-used for the
Prima II - 1 demonstrator, outshopped in May 2009. The current status of the P6000 body is unknown.