SBB Cargo International to intensify Trans-Alpine rail freight

2022/07/05 at 1:31 PM

Trying to keep its position as a key player on the North-South rail corridor between Italy and the ports of the Benelux, SBB Cargo International will add another batch of 20 new Vectron multisystem locomotives to its fleet. The vehicles will have improved traction power that will allow the Swiss company to boost its activities in the Alps.

The Vectron locomotive of SBB Cargo International hauls wagons with semi-trailers, source: Michael Claushallmann / SBB Cargo

Two years ago, in July 2019, SBB Cargo International, a joint venture of SBB Cargo and Hupac Intermodal, purchased 20 Vectron multisystem locomotives from Siemens Mobility. Now, the railway undertaking decided to use the option of that deal by ordering 20 more vehicles of the same type. The locomotives will be put into operation in 2024. In both cases, the vehicles have been/will be purchased via SüdLeasing, the German leasing specialist that will lease them to SBB Cargo International under a long-term rental plan with a flexible term.

XLoad option

Like the 20 Vectron multisystem locomotives ordered in 2019, the vehicles from the new batch will be also certified for operations in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. However, they will have a distinctive feature. It is the XLoad option that, due to improved traction performance, will enable the railway undertakings to use only one rather than two four-axle locomotives for hauling wagonsets via the Alps.

“The Vectron is the ideal locomotive for our transport operations, being interoperable between the ARA ports (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp) and Italy. With the optional feature XLoad, we will be able to run longer and heavier trains through the Alps in single traction. In many cases, one can even do without an otherwise obligatory lead locomotive. Since the weight of trains for combined freight traffic is limited by maximum permissible train lengths, there is no need to use a more cost-intensive six-axle locomotive,” said Sven Flore, CEO of SBB Cargo International.

Related stories:

  1. Rail sets historic milestone in moving freight through Swiss Alps
  2. Enhancing Trans-Alpine freight: Cargobeamer to build new terminal in northern Italy for combined transport

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