Spain: Captrain España has signed a contract with Stadler Valencia for the supply of eight Euro6000 electric locomotives able to run on both 1435mm and 1668mm-gauge infrastructure. When deliveries are completed in 2025, the new locomotives will bring the company’s fleet of multi-system electric locomotives up to 24. The new locomotives have been funded in part by a €15m grant from the Spanish government’s Sustainable and Digital Transport Support Programme within the Next Generation EU recovery plan for Europe.

Austria: Škoda Group has been awarded a contract for the modernisation of six couchette coaches for Austrian Federal Railways’ (ÖBB) Nightjet fleet, with an option for 28 more. The refurbished vehicles will feature more comfortable berths, modern lighting and updated toilet facilities, as well as a new accessible compartment. The modernisation work will be carried out at Škoda Group's production site in Šumperk, Czech Republic, with delivery scheduled by 2024.

One of the five Vectron MS locomotives delivered to PKP Cargo. Photo credit: Siemens Mobility

Poland: PKP Cargo has taken delivery of five Vectron MS locomotives from Siemens Mobility, ordered under an option within a contract for 15 locomotives originally signed in September 2015. The new locomotives bring PKP’s Vectron fleet up to 25 and the agreement includes an eight-year maintenance contract. The multi-voltage locomotives will be used to haul intermodal freight between Poland and other European countries. The locomotives for PKP Cargo have a power output of 6.4MW under ac and 6.0MW under dc power and have been fitted with ETCS Baseline 3 onboard equipment. As well as Poland, they are approved for use in Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary.

The Stadler EuroDual locomotives being tested by ELP in the Balkan countries carry special branding including a map of the routes concerned. Picture credit: ELP

Europe: European Loc Pool (ELP) and Stadler Valencia, together with local partners, are conducting test runs of Stadler EuroDual locomotives in the Balkan countries of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro. The purpose of the trials is to validate compatibility with local infrastructure and national requirements before obtaining authority for their use in general traffic. The test runs will take place in June and July and ELP CEO, Mr Willem Goosen, says the next step is to conduct test runs in North Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. After completion of testing and review of documentation by the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA), approval for the locomotives’ use in all these countries is expected before the end of this year.

Representatives of Plasser & Theurer and RB Solutions who took part in the signing of the contract for two new track maintenance machines for Sweden and Norway. Photo credit: Plasser & Theurer

Scandinavia: Plasser & Theurer has signed a contract with RB Solutions for the delivery of two new track maintenance machines for the Scandinavian market. The two machines are a Unimat 08-4x4/4S tamping machine, which will be delivered by the end of 2025, including preparation for ETCS, and a USP 2010 SWS universal ballast spreading and levelling machine, which will be delivered by the end of April 2025. RB Solutions says it aims to reduce the long lead times in the machine market and to provide the Scandinavian region with the best technology available. The machines will be registered for use in both Sweden and Norway.

Spain: Alpha Trains has announced a new partnership with freight operator Low Cost Rail and Stadler Valencia for the purchase and leasing of three Euro6000 electric locomotives. Low Cost Rail has received funding for the transaction from Spain’s Ministry of Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda (Mitma) as part of the Sustainable and Digital Transport Support Programme.

The EffiShunter 1000 locomotive from CZ Loko which is the first to be purchased by BorsodChem of Hungary. Photo credit: CZ Loko

Hungary: Chemicals company BorsodChem has purchased the first EffiShunter 1000 locomotive to operate in Hungary from CZ Loko, which has now supplied a total of 52 of this locomotive type since 2018. The new locomotive was delivered six months after the contract was signed and has enabled BorsodChem, which has its own internal network within its factory at Kazincbarcika, to begin the planned renewal of its locomotive fleet. Although CZ Loko has supplying the Hungarian market since 2017, BorsodChem is a new customer.

Egypt: Egyptian National Railways (ENR), Plasser & Theurer and Plasser Egypt have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to repair, refurbish and maintain 34 track maintenance machines. The 15-year maintenance contract will cover 34 machines, of which 30 are in service with ENR and four are being manufactured by Plasser & Theurer. The MoU will also allow Plasser Egypt to establish a local maintenance centre for ENR machines, enabling the transfer of skills to Egypt.

Kazakhstan: KTZ is running a pilot project to deploy Wabtec’s Trip Optimizer system in the operation of freight trains. Trip Optimizer offers adaptive cruise control for Evolution series locomotives while helping to reduce fuel and energy consumption by around 5%, as well as reducing equipment wear and tear. The technology enables the driver to control the speed of the train based on achieving optimum fuel consumption, taking into account factors such as route, gradient profile and train composition.

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