VR Group awarded Siemens a €300m contract in 2014 to supply 80 of the locomotives, the largest single order to date for the Vectron. The 25kV ac 50Hz 6.4MW mixed-traffic units have a maximum speed of 200km/h and the 10 pre-series locomotives will enter service next year. Series production will begin in 2018 and the final locomotives are due to be delivered to Finland in 2026.

The locomotives have been adapted to operate in temperatures as low as -40°C and minimise the risk of water ingress from fine snow. In order to shunt non-electrified sidings at timber loading terminals, the Sr3 is also equipped with a 360kW last-mile diesel engine and remote control.

The 1524mm-gauge four-axle locomotive now en route to Finland, which is the second unit in the build, has been moved by rail across Germany's standard-gauge network using a "loco buggy" developed by Siemens and Railadventure, Germany. Each of the four-axles of the 90-tonne locomotive rests on a separate buggy. Previously such systems were only available for much lighter vehicles.

Last April Siemens sent a Vectron fitted with broad-gauge bogies to Finland for trials ahead of the delivery of the locomotives for VR Group.

Main photo courtesy of Marcel Grauke (external link).

VR Vectron allach

Siemens is assembling the Sr3s at its Allach plant in Munich. Photo: Siemens