New Vectron locomotives in action soon
The first Sr3 electric locomotive starts to operate in commercial traffic on Wednesday, 31 May.
The first eight Sr3 electric locomotives were officially transferred from Siemens to VR Group on Friday, 26 May and started to operate in commercial traffic on Wednesday, 31 May. The first freight train was operated between Tampere and Vuosaari Harbour. Two locomotives that have just arrived in Finland will start to operate during June. The Sr3 locomotive is well suited for both the fast passenger traffic and the heavy freight traffic.
The electric locomotives have been tested using an extensive testing programme. The first locomotive arrived in Finland in January 2016. The locomotives have a deployment permit enabling commercial traffic and for the next 12 months, they will be operated as diversely as possible in passenger and freight traffic to gather experience so that any possible technical additions can be taken into consideration before the beginning of batch production in summer 2018. The full batch of 80 locomotives will be delivered by 2026.
New transport concepts in freight traffic
The new Sr3 locomotive also has two diesel engines which the locomotive can use to tow wagons for short distances on non-electrified sidings and shunting yards. In addition, the locomotive has radio control equipment making it possible to move the locomotive from the outside. With these new features, entirely new and even more efficient freight transport solutions can be offered to the customer.
An energy-efficient workhorse
VR Group aims to improve the energy-efficiency of both passenger and freight traffic by 20 per cent by 2020. The new electric locomotive enables a greater share of freight transports to be carried out using electric traction instead of diesel locomotives.
– It is wonderful that we will be able to operate the locomotives in commercial traffic according to the planned timetable. We have been looking forward to having the new locomotive in both passenger and freight traffic. At this stage, we would like to thank our own team, the team at Siemens and the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi, which served as the licensing authority, for their excellent cooperation, says Petri Auno, Senior Vice President of Train Operations at VR Group.
A significant investment
The locomotive procurement is part of a series of major rolling stock investments by VR Group. Over past two decades, VR Group has procured new rolling stock for about one billion euros, of which the share of Vectron is more than 300 million euros. The purchase also represents one of the largest locomotive procurement deals in Europe in recent years.