ITALIAN open-access rail freight operator GTS Rail has ordered another 20 Traxx E949 electric locomotives from Alstom under a €74m contract.

The locomotives will be manufactured in the former Bombardier plant in Vado Ligure, Italy, which was merged with Alstom in January 2021. The order, the largest in GTS Rail’s history, follows an order for five Traxx locomotives placed in January.

This will expand GTS’ fleet to 48 locomotives, with the operator planning to invest another €70m to further expand its fleet over the next three years.

“We are strengthening our 10-year partnership with Alstom-Bombardier,” says GTS CEO, Mr Alessio Muciaccia. “This additional order will enable us to have a more efficient fleet and offer more solutions for customers. The aim is to transfer large volumes of goods from road to rail, thus supporting zero direct emission transport thanks to electric technology. In spite of the pandemic and now the war in Ukraine, rail and intermodal transport is proving to be the best way to move goods and the best means for the green transition. We are here to seize this incredible opportunity.”

The order was first reported by the Il Sole 24 Ore daily paper, which also says that the operator is planning to expand its services to the Iberian peninsula.

“Through GTS Iberia we want to create new flows from Spain and Portugal to the markets of Britain, Belgium, Italy and others,” Muciaccia says. “This will allow us to create a new and strong supplier network. The sectors we will cover are petrochemicals and food. This is an important time of growth for our group: again this year, the balance sheet figures did not disappoint. The 2021 consolidated turnover closes at €132m with an Ebidta of €25.5m. And 2022 already marks an increase of 19% compared to the same period last year.”