In 2014 ÖBB launched a tender for the trial conversion of 15kV ac class 1063 electric locomotives built by SGP in the 1980s in a project which is being funded by Austria’s Research Promotion Agency (FFG).

Two suppliers were selected to develop and convert two prototypes, one equipped with a hydrogen fuel cell and the other, which is on display at InnoTrans, with supercapacitors and lithium-ion batteries.

The design and modification of the InnoShunt prototype has been carried out by TecSol, Austria, using supercapacitors and batteries supplied by CRRC Zhuzhou. This equipment has been mounted externally because the locomotive will be converted back to standard configuration after the completion of the trial phase. However, if ÖBB goes ahead with the conversion of its full fleet of 47 class 1063s, the equipment will be smaller and mounted internally.

Over the next two months the locomotive will undergo trials at freight yards and on short-trip freight duties in Austria. TecSol anticipates that the locomotive will be capable of operating on non-electrified lines for distances of up to 30km, depending on the load, with a maximum output of 800kW.

TecSol says that while the technology is new to Europe, all of the electrical components supplied by CRRC Zhuzhou have been proven in service in China.