ROLLING stock leasing company Railpool has signed a €260m contract with Alstom for the supply of 50 Traxx Universal multi-system electric locomotives.

Alstom says that the locomotives will be suitable for both freight and passenger duties, offering high reliability and flexibility as well as optimised power consumption. Extended maintenance intervals are expected to ease operational planning, reduce costs and increase availability.

All locomotives will be equipped with Atlas onboard ETCS equipment developed by Alstom, which will enable them to operate on the widest range of routes under both ETCS and legacy signalling systems in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxemburg and Poland.

At present the Traxx 3, of which the Traxx Universal is a new version, has not been authorised to operate in France, Belgium or Luxemburg.

Tests have been taking place in Luxemburg since earlier this year with the first of 10 locomotives for CFL Cargo, which designates them as class 188, but have not yet started in France or Belgium.

Alstom has told IRJ that it expects the approvals process for the Traxx Universal to operate in France to be completed by the end of the first half of 2025.

Engineering design of the Traxx Universal fleet for Railpool will be undertaken at the Alstom site in Mannheim, while final assembly is also planned to take place in Germany at Kassel. Carbody shells will be built at Wroclaw in Poland, while bogies will be produced at Siegen in Germany and project management provided at Alstom’s site in Zürich.

According to Railpool CEO, Mr Torsten Lehnert, the Traxx Universal order strengthens the company’s commitment to develop its full-service offering in the French market, following the recent opening of a Railpool office in France under the leadership of Ms Frédérique Erlichman.

“All 50 locomotives ordered from our partner Alstom will cover operations in France and along the most important European corridors, contributing to the further advancement of sustainable high-performance rail transport out of France,” Lehnert says.

“We are delighted that Railpool has chosen Alstom to expand their operations in several parts of Europe,” says Mr Kevin Cogo, vice-president of rolling stock, locomotives and components for Alstom’s Germany, Austria and Switzerland (DACH) region.

“This contract marks the continuation of a long-standing and successful partnership.”

Additional reporting by David Haydock.

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