VR Group orders new electric locomotives from Siemens
VR Group has decided to order 80 electric locomotives from Siemens. The lo-comotives make faster train services possible and improve their environmen-tal friendliness and reliability. They also make the functioning of the industry's transport system more efficient. The value of VR Group's biggest single procurement of all time is more than 300 million euros.
The transaction is the second largest purchase of locomotives in Europe this year. The first electric locomotives start operational services in 2017, and the entire fleet will be delivered to Finland by 2026. These locomotives will gradually replace the Soviet-made first electric locomotives acquired in the 1970s. In all, VR currently has 155 electric locomotives. The purchase includes an option for 97 additional locomotives.
– The selection was made after a long and careful examination. The electric locomotive manufactured by Siemens is well suited to the challenging conditions in Finland, says VR Group's President and CEO Mikael Aro. The locomotives can be used in passenger and freight services and have a top speed of 200 km/h. One locomotive can pull a 2 000 tonne train. The locomotive excels in energy efficiency. Energy produced in braking is fed back into the grid.
The locomotive consumes a low amount of energy while idling and thanks to new technology produces less waste heat than before. The locomotive also has two diesel engines making it possible to replace diesel locomotives on non-electrified sec-tions such as railyards and industrial lines. Siemens is an experienced manufacturer of electric locomotives Siemens won all parts of the tendering competition. Siemens is the leading manufac-turer of fast electric locomotives of the 2000s and it has delivered hundreds of fast electric locomotives in Europe.
Siemens has also delivered electric trains for the Russian Sapsan and ICE trains to Germany. The electric locomotives delivered to Finland will be manufactured in Germany. – We are very proud that VR Group has decided to order its largest single purchase of rolling stock from Siemens. We are confident that our Vectron locomotive will contribute to improving the environmental friendliness and reliability of VR’s fleet in a sustainable manner, said Jochen Eickholt, CEO of Siemens Rail Systems.
A locomotive suitable for winter conditions The acquired locomotives are part of Siemens's new Vectron product family. The lo-comotive is based on the company's long history as a manufacturer of locomotives. A new version will be built for Finnish conditions.
For instance, changes to the air intake and chassis of the locomotive make it possible to operate in snowy and icy conditions. The locomotive can operate in temperatures of up to –40 °C. Vectron has been tested for a few years in Central and Northern Europe – also in cold winter conditions. The agreement between VR Group and Siemens will be finalized in early 2014. After the agreement has been finalized, production, thorough testing and acceptance procedures will begin.
The first ten locomotive batch will, according to current estimates, arrive in Finland in 2017. Large scale serial production will start in 2018. The locomotive procurement is part of VR Group's major investments in rolling stock. VR Group has acquired and is to acquire more double-deck passenger cars suitable for fast services. In the near future VR Group will also prepare for the acquisition of new diesel locomotives.
Siemens Vectron locomotive:
- top speed 200 km/h
- weight nearly 90 tonnes
- length around 19 metres
- output 6.4 MW
- the locomotive is 60 times more efficient than a family car