Bombardier Transportation and ÖBB’s freight division, Rail Cargo Group (RCG), have successfully completed a 4000-kilometer test run of a BOMBARDIER TRAXX AC Last Mile locomotive. The test run saw a BOMBARDIER TRAXX AC Last Mile locomotive pull a RCG freight train from Sopron, on the Austrian-Hungarian border through Romania and Bulgaria to Istanbul, Turkey (Tekirdag) and back.
The trip followed a long distance intermodal route built by Rail Cargo Group to transport goods between the German Ruhr area to the Black Sea in Turkey. Currently this route has four departures per week with seven per week beginning in January.
The journey was not only a first for both Bombardier Transportation and RCG, but also an unprecedented achievement for this particular train configuration. On the test run, the TRAXX locomotive demonstrated its strength when this single locomotive pulled the 534-meter long, 1200-ton freight train across Romania’s Carpathian Mountains. This rugged terrain typically requires the RCG train to have two locomotives.
Earlier in the test run, an electrical failure along a 20-kilometer section of track provided another challenge. Here, theTRAXX AC Last Mile locomotive demonstrated its superior performance by crossing this non-electrified stretch using its Last Mile feature – avoiding a five-hour delay. The innovative Last Mile feature, a combination of an auxiliary diesel engine and battery, enables the locomotive to operate at full power for up to eight hours. The TRAXX’s ability to run on non-electrified route sections for extended periods eliminates the need for additional shunting locomotives in container terminals, harbours or side tracks to factories. Furthermore, while in Last Mile mode, the locomotive is still capable of pulling equally heavy loads just as when under catenary wire power.
The train’s return journey ended on Tuesday in Sopron, Hungary. High-ranked representatives of Rail Cargo Group and Bombardier Transportation welcomed the locomotive this morning in Wien-Westbahnhof.
Commenting on the interplay between the train and the TRAXX AC Last Mile locomotive, Georg Kasperkovitz, Member of the Board of Rail Cargo Group, said, “Competitive rail freight traffic requires innovative solutions for customers and cost-efficient, reliable and steady production. To best meet these demands, Rail Cargo Group promotes and invests in new, modern technologies. The endurance test also included some very difficult conditions.”
On occasion of the locomotive’s return to Austria, Ulrich Jochem, President, Locomotives, Bombardier Transportation said, “This journey provided us an excellent opportunity to once again prove the power and versatility of our TRAXX AC Last Mile locomotive. Both during the grid failure and while crossing the Carpathians, the locomotive demonstrated its exceptional performance under extreme conditions.”