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Mitteldeutsche Eisenbahngesellschaft to operate hybrid locomotives in rail freight


DB Schenker Rail and Alstom sign agreement for first European test fleet of switching locomotives equipped with hybrid drive system

Mainz/Berlin, Mitteldeutsche Eisenbahngesellschaft (MEG), as part of a long-term testing program, is to lease five hybrid switching locomotives from Alstom for deployment with Dow Olefinverbund GmbH in Schkopau and Böhlen. DB Schenker Rail, its subsidiary MEG and Alstom today signed an agreement to this effect at the InnoTrans trade fair in Berlin. The agreement includes an option for purchase at a later date. With its acquisition of the five locomotives, MEG is laying the foundation for the first hybrid vehicle fleet for rail freight operations in Europe.

The locomotive delivers a maximum power output of 600 kW with a small 250 kW diesel generator. Additional output is obtained from large batteries that are recharged by the generator during low-load periods. When operating in battery mode alone, the locomotive produces very little noise and is virtually vibration-free. The prototype of the hybrid locomotive has been undergoing continuous testing since July 2010. The other locomotives will be added by the end of 2011.

“We are pleased that our innovative hybrid locomotive concept is entering the next phase. In 2006 we presented our prototypes at InnoTrans – today, together with DB and MEG, we’re entering the next stage,” said Klaus Hiller, Head of Service and Locomotives at Alstom Transport in Germany. Testing involved the prototype being frequently used in normal day-to-day operations and further developed until it was ready for the market,” explains Hiller. “Other vehicles that have been upgraded with this technology can be delivered from series production as from the end of 2011.”

“A company that carries a lot of freight is aware of its responsibility for the environment. We actively support this environmentally friendly drive technology, because we see a wide range of applications for the low-consumption hybrid switching locomotive within the DB Group,” said Otto Niederhofer, Member of the Management Board of DB Schenker Rail.

Hybrid technology can be used in all kinds of switching operations. It targets a market of several thousand older locomotives with at least twice the fuel consumption. Even with the generator running, the hybrid locomotive is extremely quiet due to the small engine. The generator runs for less than half of the operational time, whereas in the case of conventional locomotives, the large engine runs continuously, and that means it frequently runs at idle.

Note to photo editors:
As from 1 pm today, images of the hybrid locomotive will be available for download free of charge under “Aktuell” in the image database.

High-tech on solid steel

The Class 202 locomotive is being used by Alstom to upgrade to a hybrid locomotive. The vehicle is driven by two centrally located electric motors with a total power output of up to 600 KW supplied by electric power from the Alstom ONIX hybrid traction package. This package, which was developed by Alstom Ridderkerk, incorporates the generator’s intelligent control system and the battery management system. The diesel generator meets Euro IV requirements and also includes a particulate filter. With half the fuel consumption, it is well above the requirements specified for conventional switching locomotives. Pollutant emission levels are as much as 70 percent less than those of current vehicles. In 2006, the prototype of the locomotive was presented at InnoTrans. Since 2008, trials have been conducted in companies and with customers of Deutsche Bahn, including MEG, DB Regio Mittelfranken, BASF, in the Port of Rotterdam and in the Stendal cellulose plant.


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