Siemens: DB Schenker Rail has commissioned Siemens to convert 32 of its existing series 189 locomotives for future cross-border deployment from and to Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. To this end, the locomotives will be equipped with automatic train protection systems and components that are required on both countries' lines. Series conversion is scheduled to start in summer 2014 at the Munich-Allach plant. When the new timetable enters into force in December 2014, at least 15 locomotives will be available along the routes to and from the Czech Republic, including electrified branch lines. The remaining conversion work will be completed by spring 2015. The contract is worth tens of millions of euros.
DB Schenker Rail currently operates 90 series 189 locomotives. 58 of these locomotives are deployed on cross-border routes between Germany and the Netherlands, forming the backbone of the heavy goods transportation network
between these two countries. The remaining 32 locomotives to be converted were previously in use only within Germany. This conversion will enable DB Schenker Rail to deploy the tried-and-tested locomotives, manufactured by Siemens, in even more European countries.
The converted locomotives will also meet the homologation criteria for operation in Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary and Austria. This will create the opportunity for DB Schenker Rail to serve the corridor from the border stations in the Netherlands right through to the Black Sea in Romania or the Baltic Sea ports in Poland. As part of the conversion, the locomotives will also be equipped with a modern firefighting system, operated using an environmentally friendly extinguishing gas to minimize consequential damages. To enable the zones to the rear to be monitored, the locomotives will be fitted with four external cameras, from which the images can be called up on the displays in the driver's cab.
Railcolor: First, let's do some math here: 32 units will be converted, those that are not fitted for the Netherlands: 189 001-022 and 189 055-064. The VM package, currently installed on MRCE and PKP ES 64 F4 electrics, can do the job here.
Curious is also that the December 2014 time table change is mentioned, together with services to the Czech Republic. 189s are freight locomotives, freight contracts do not necessarily change with the introduction of a new time table. No, wasn't DB planning to find a new partner for its international EC services linking Hamburg, Berlin and Prague?