The delivery ceremony during which AWT received its first locomotive of such type took place at the Test Centre of the Railway Research Institute (Výzkumný Ústav Železniční) in Velim, Central Bohemia. The Test Centre features two test circuits, one of which is suitable for speeds of up to 230 kph – the top speed of AWT’s new locomotives.
The first operational use of the new snow-white locomotive bearing the AWT logo on its sides can be expected before the end of the year.
In the words of David Kostelník, AWT’s Chief Operations Officer: “This acquisition will enable us to provide services in a seamless fashion. Thanks to the variability of the locomotives’ safety features, they can be operated in multiple countries, such as Germany, Austria and Hungary, in addition to the Czech Republic. A bonus for our freight transport is the locomotives’ tractive force of up to 300 kN.”
AWT’s acquisition of the new locomotive is a further demonstration of the company’s stabilisation and growth, which, according to AWT Chief Commercial Officer Edin Sose, is undoubtedly progressing well: “The introduction of new locomotives into our rail fleet will expand our capacity. We intend to keep modernising the fleet in order to ensure continued growth in the competitiveness and variability of our services offered across Europe. Our goal is to run a modern interoperable fleet capable of providing transport services in a growing number of European countries.”
Commissioning the modern locomotives manufactured by Siemens will also improve the energy efficiency in heavy freight train transport. “It is a well-known fact that rail transport is an environmentally friendly type of transport. In comparing the fuel demands of internal combustion engines, we can say that transporting 1,000 tonnes over a distance of one kilometre by road consumes approximately 60 litres of diesel fuel, while the consumption level falls to just 10 litres by rail. In the case of electric traction, represented by the new locomotives, the energy demands are even lower – transporting 1,000 tonnes over one kilometre requires an average 16 kWh,” said AWT Chief Operations Officer David Kostelník. It should also be pointed out that the Siemens locomotives are equipped with regenerative braking. This means that when the locomotive is decelerating it transforms kinetic energy back into electrical power, which is then returned to the grid. Regulating the performance of the locomotives with modern electronic operating controls is another factor with a positive impact on energy efficiency.