In France, several companies are joining forces for the EU-financed Marathon-project
. It started in 2011 and lasts three years. Its main drivers:
- the rail freight capacity generation
- the increase of commercial speed leading to better service
- the traffic bundling for economies of scale
- and operating costs reduction
"Marathon can show the effectiveness of operating faster, longer and heavier freight trains on selected European routes, driving the rail freight service modernization. The European manufacturing and logistics industry will derive substantial service and costs benefits from this innovative business approach becoming the target for full market up-take potential."
More concrete, at the end of 2013, test trains will be configured according to the Marathon principle. Two freight trains will be combined into one, operated from one locomotive. The second locomotive, somewhere in the middle of the train, will be operated from the leading machine using radio control. It results in one, 1500 meter long freight train.
Two Akiem BB 37000 locomotives, of which one will be revealed during the next t&l fair in Munich, will be configurated for the Marathon train, as well as two Vossloh Euro4000 diesel locomotives. They will haul a Kombiverkehr freight train from Sibelin shunt yard to Nimes. The tests will be conducted with eight commercial trains in total. - Source
A little hint of how the Akiem Marathon-locomotive at the t&l fair will look, can be found at the buttom of the Akiem website.