In April, Siemens’ Vectron electric locomotive was sent to Bulgaria to undergo authorization tests. The tests were carried out near Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, as well as on one of the main lines connecting the western and eastern parts of the country.
Authorization will enable the Vectron family to further extend its coverage by serving an important freight corridor between Europe and Asia.
Part of the tests were conducted on the picturesque sub-Balkan railway line, which is one of the toughest routes in terms of topography, featuring the longest gradient in the network with 16‰. The test route also included the Koznitsa tunnel, the longest in the country at nearly six kilometers. The envisaged authorization of the Vectron in Bulgaria marks an important milestone in the roll-out of the Vectron family in Europe.
The locomotive used for the trials was the 6,400-kW multi-system version of the Vectron equipped for running on both AC and DC power. A special 1,600-ton freight train was used for the trials and consisted of 13 freight cars as well as a second electric locomotive at the rear.
When authorization is finalized, the Bulgarian link will complete the rail corridor from Germany to Turkey. The Vectron has already received authorizations for Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania and Turkey.