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In 2019 and 2020, the interoperable locomotive fleet of the Czech leading rail freight carrier will be expanded even further with the addition of 10 Traxx MS3 locomotives. On the basis of a contractual option open until 2022, the number of these locomotives may be further increased with the supply of up to 40 more locomotives. This is an upgraded product of the successful Traxx MS series, of which more than 2 250 engines have already been sold.
The interoperable locomotives will be operable in the Czech Republic as well as in all neighbouring countries and in Hungary; this group of countries may further be expanded to include Slovenia and Croatia. Chief Executive Officer of ČD Cargo, Tomáš Tóth, adds: “The acquisition of these interoperable locomotives supports ČD Cargo’s strategy of expanding onto foreign markets. We are currently licensed for operation in Poland, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary, and the appropriate fleet will enable us to fully utilize these licences, while in some countries the deployment of modern locomotives is a prerequisite. We have already identified a number of international transport routes on which these locomotives can immediately be deployed in order to meet our customers' requirements for the implementation of an entire transport route with just one locomotive.”
These are the state-of-the-art locomotives with high traction power and operating speed, which comply with the current European trends and allow heavy trains to be hauled over long distances. It goes without saying that they feature the European Train Control System (ETCS), a camera system, GSM-R, etc.
“The purchase of these modern locomotives is fully in line with our approved policy for the renewal and sustainability of railway rolling stock”, says Tomáš Tóth, adding: “Our aim is to eliminate idle times when swapping locomotives, streamline transport on long-haul routes and also help to free up capacity on heavily used lines on the SŽDC network. In the future, we plan to gradually decommission less reliable and technically obsolete locomotives and replace them with modern and renovated engines that, besides meeting the requisite parameters, are also more environmentally-friendly due to greater efficiency and regenerative braking.”
Given the pricing terms for the new locomotives to be supplied by both manufacturers, their delivery terms and the currently highly favourable financing conditions, the locomotives acquired by ČD Cargo will provide a very strong competitive advantage on the Czech and European markets.
The process of having this purchase approved by the company’s individual bodies has now been completed and the contract is expected to be signed with Siemens and Bombardier within the next few days.
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