The first of the 1.8MW four-axle locomotives was handed over to Locon Logistik & Consulting, Germany, on June 14. Further deliveries will follow in the second and third quarter of this year.

Locon says it will initially use the 120km/h DE 18s for freight operations in northern Germany.

Beacon and Vossloh Locomotives have also signed an Entity in Charge of Maintenance (ECM)-compliant full-service maintenance contract, which will cover the use of the four locomotives across the European network.

DE 18 gains French authorisation

In a separate development, the French Railway Safety Board (EPSF) has granted a Supplementary Authorisation to Place in Service (SAPS) for the operation of the MB 28 01 variant of the DE 18 (designated BB 79000 in France).

The authorisation covers single and multiple operation (up to three locomotives) on the conventional and high-speed networks. The DE 18 is permitted to operate as a rescue locomotive on high-speed lines.

Additional reporting by Quintus Vosman.