ČD Cargo has ordered 12 additional Traxx 3 MS locomotives equipped by Alstom’s Atlas on-board system, a solution of ETCS Level 2, Baseline 3. The contract value amounts to EUR 45 million.
The locomotives should be delivered in the first half of 2026 at the latest, the Czech rail freight operator says. These new locomotives will be used by ČD Cargo Poland and ČD Cargo Slovakia.
These new Traxx 3 MS locomotives will expand the current fleet of 16 Alstom locomotives already in use by the rail operator and the 21 locomotives that will be gradually taken over in 2024 and 2025.
In March 2021, ČD Cargo ordered 10 additional Traxx MS3 multi-system locomotives to renew its locomotive fleet and to meet transport demand.
In total, ČD Cargo will own 49 of these modern interoperable locomotives by mid-2026.
“The signing of the contract for the delivery of additional locomotives will enable us to further expand into foreign markets where ČD Cargo continues to grow its market share. Last year we transported more than 10 million tonnes of goods abroad,” said Tomáš Tóth, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the company ČD Cargo.
The Czech rail carrier is expanding and is equipping its locomotive fleet with the latest technologies to allow cross-border services.
Also last year, ČD Cargo and Siemens Mobility signed a contract to acquire 10 Vectron MS electric locomotives that will gradually be handed over from the second half of 2024. The locomotives will be equipped with ETCS Level 2 Baseline 3 and are approved for operation in the Czech Republic, Belgium, Hungary, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Austria and Slovakia.
In March 2023, two new 393 Vectron AC locomotives with an auxiliary diesel engine (DPM) have been added to the vehicle fleet of the operator. These locomotives are part of the Siemens X4 modular platform that includes locomotives of various purposes and systems. The locomotives of the 393 series are four-axle interoperable dual-system locomotives capable of running at a speed of up to 200 km/h on 15 kV and 25 kV AC traction systems. The new engines are equipped with an auxiliary diesel engine (DPM – Diesel Power Module) for operation on handling tracks and sidings without traction catenary line or when shunting. The DPM module consists of a 180-kW diesel unit located in the engine room and a fuel tank. These locomotives are primarily used for operation in Austria and Germany by ČD Cargo’s foreign branches.
In November 2022, ČD – Telematika retrofitted the on-board unit of the ETCS to the last of a total of 78 locomotives of series 163 and 363 of the carrier ČD Cargo. The entire project was implemented by the supplier association ČD – Telematika and AŽD. This is an important contract as the company owns 78 “promising locomotives ready for the exclusive operation of trains under the supervision of ETCS which will be launched on a larger scale in the Czech Republic beginning 2025,” Tomáš Tóth said at the handing over event.
From 2025, the Czech Republic plans to introduce exclusive operation under the ETCS on selected backbone corridors. The exclusive operation mode means that traction vehicles without ETCS on-board units will no longer be admitted to these lines. The company ČD – Telematika is currently working on retrofitting 30 multi-system electric locomotives.
To retrofit its locomotives with the ETCS Level 2 Baseline 3, ČD Cargo obtained a EUR 16.3 million financing under the 2022 CEF Transport call for proposals. This co-financing will ensure retrofitting and fitment of 99 electric locomotives of six different types which will increase interoperability, efficiency and safety of rail traffic.
The company also was selected to receive a co-financing of EUR 6.6 million under the 2021 CEF Transport calls for proposals to retrofit and upgrade 122 electric locomotives of five different types with Level 2 Baseline 3. These locomotives will be used to operate on Baltic – Adriatic, Orient/East – Med and Rhine – Danube Core Network Corridors.