FGC introduces the new bi-mode locomotives

new 257 series locomotivesThe Catalan Minister of Territory, Juli Fernàndez i Olivares and the president of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC), Toni Segarra i Barreto, have inaugurated two of the five new 257 series locomotives (bi-mode electro-diesel locomotives) manufactured by Stadler Rail Valencia. The new locomotives are intended to deliver rail freight services. In the coming weeks, the other three are scheduled to enter commercial operation. The purchase of the five units involved an investment of EUR 30.2 million.

The new metre gauge locomotives, which will replace the existing diesel ones of the 254 series, are dual system and will allow electric and diesel traction.

Specifically, they will run with electric traction in the sections that currently have catenary (the Manresa – Martorell – Sant Boi rail line), and diesel in the rest of the sections. The fact of having a dual power supply and traction with electricity will reduce the emission and noise, compared to a traction vehicles with a combustion engine.

Thus, they will make it possible to reduce diesel consumption by between 57% and 66% and will mean a global reduction in pollutant emissions of 66%. Along the same lines, the new rolling stock will be 95% recyclable.

The new 257 series locomotives that are 20-metre-long and 3.9 meters high with a weigh of 90 tonnes, incorporate several improvements over the 254 locomotives of the 1990s, among them reliability, the regenerative electric brake, the automatic traction change and noise reduction as well as technological and also ergonomic improvements for the driving staff.

The acquired locomotives will be used for the rail transport of potassium salts to the Suria salt mining area of the ICL company and the vehicles from the SEAT factory in Martorell, will perform unloading activities at the port of Barcelona. The transport of goods provided by Ferrocarrils allows to promote sustainable transport as it favors transport by rail instead of by road. Last year it made it possible to eliminate 29,076 journeys by truck.

The Martorell Operations CenCentreter (COM), located next to the Martorell Enllaç de Ferrocarrils station, is the reference centre within the railway service of the Llobregat – Anoia metre gauge line linking Barcelona with the Baix Llobregat, Bages and Anoia regions in Catalonia.

In 2021, the new COM building was inaugurated, resulting from the reorganisation of the complex that FGC had at this station, and works were carried out on the track beach and improvements to the catenary and railway signalling. At the same time, activities for urban integration were carried out around the COM site, which allowed the consolidation of the buildings and arrangement for a new car park for FGC staff. The various actions carried out have turned the complex into a first-class infrastructure to face the leap in scale that the Llobregat – Anoia line service will make in the coming years.


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