The 15kV ac locomotive, built by SGP in the 1980s, is using four 600V lithium-ion batteries with pairs providing 1200V directly to the traction motors. These can be charged from the catenary and the hydrogen power generator, which is rated at 800kW and provides a much greater range than a battery-only solution. The power generator and batteries can generate 800kW, providing much greater range than a battery-only solution. Without catenary, the locomotive can reach a speed of 40km/h, which compares with 100km/h when using conventional electric power.

The retrofitting project on 1063 038 was carried out by HET Verkehrstechnik and follows a similar project to retrofit 1063 039 with a mix of batteries and supercapacitors. ÖBB launched the project funded by Austria’s Research Promotion Agency (FFG) in 2014, and the first locomotive was presented to the public at InnoTrans 2016.

The locomotive will now undergo a series of intense trials with the results set to be compared with 1063 039 ahead of a decision on which concept to use to retrofit the complete fleet of 47 class 1063 locomotives.