My first encounter with the E6ACT prototype yielded a few photos – this is the best one… Zduńska Wola Karsznice, September 9, 2011.
Take two was more successful; TRAKO 2011 Fair in Gdańsk, October 14, 2011.
Cab interior, photographed on the same occasion.
Side drawing published in a ZNLE folder.
E6ACT-005 operated by Lotos Kolej, photographed in Zduńska Wola Karsznice on April 21, 2014.
E6ACT-002 operated by STK, photographed near the Warszawa Wawer station on October 17, 2015.
E6ACT-008, Lotos Kolej, photographed at the TRAKO 2015 fair in Gdańsk, September 22, 2015. Photo by Chris West (thanks for permission!).
E6ACT-006, Lotos Kolej, photographed in Zduńska Wola Karsznice on May 21, 2016.
After main Polish locomotive manufacturers either had been taken over by foreign companies or had withdrawn from the market, their place was to a certain extent taken by railway stock repair works of Bydgoszcz (PESA), Nowy Sącz (Newag) and Gliwice. While initially output of the former two included mainly diesel railcars, built in small numbers for local operators, and later EMUs for suburban traffic, Electric Locomotives Repair Works (Zakłady Naprawcze Lokomotyw Elektrycznych – ZNLE) of Gliwice, who were the last to enter the market, finally delivered the first brand-new Polish electric locomotive in over twenty years – in fact since the last EM10 from Pafawag was outshopped in 1990.
Based on experience gained with earlier modernizations of electric locomotives (including ET21, ET22 and EL2) and bearing factory designation E6ACT, this locomotive has been basically designed for Polish operators, although two-system variant is also offered. It is suited mainly for heavy freight traffic, being capable of hauling a 4000-tonne draft at 105 km/h or at 30 km/h at a 6‰ gradient. E6ACT is a thoroughly modern design and employs state-of the-art control and on-board diagnostic systems. Crew compartment equipment includes refrigerator and microwave oven. Due to the Co’Co’ axle arrangement, axle load is moderate, only slightly exceeding 19 tonnes.
First prototype, bearing the commercial name ‘Dragon’, was completed in 2009 and exhibited at the TRAKO 2009 Fair in Gdańsk, attracting much attention. During next two years it underwent service tests with STK (leased to Lotos Kolej), remaining the manufacturer’s property. During the next TRAKO Fair in October 2011, a contract was signed for four examples, ordered by STK. In September 2012 another order for five examples followed, this time from Lotos Kolej. First example was outshopped in February 2014 and the entire order was completed until next May. In January 2015 Freightliner PL placed an order for five examples, to be completed in 2016. They are fitted with auxiliary diesel engine and were initially designated E6DCF-DP (‘DP’ stood for ‘dual power’). First example began tests at the railway experimental establishment in Żmigród in February 2016 and was delivered to Freightliner PL in June as E6ACTd-101. It was named ‘Ernest Malinowski’, in honor of the renowned Polish railway engineer, who was responsible for the design of Ferrocarril Central Andino in Peru. Further orders seem very probable. E6ACT is certainly well suited to replace obsolescent twin electric locomotives (classes ET40, ET41 and ET42) in the PKP Cargo fleet, offering even higher power and tractive effort.
In September 2008 Newag became the principal shareholder of ZNLE Gliwice, the company finally changing its name to Newag Gliwice on February 20, 2013. Plans for future are quite ambitious. Current ‘Dragon’ offer, apart from the basic 3 kV DC variant, includes also AC (13 kV 16 2/3 Hz and 25 kV 50 Hz) and MS (multi-system) versions, as well as a diesel-powered derivative with and unspecified prime mover of about 3000 hp. The ‘Dragon’ family is also to be supplemented by lighter E4MSU ‘Griffin’ – completely new design of an universal Bo’Bo’ multi-system locomotive for passenger (190 km/h) and freight traffic. Prototype was exhibited at the InnoTrans fair in Berlin in October 2012.
Main technical data
1) Until February 2015 – further five to be completed in 2016.
2) ABB traction motors in later production examples.
References and acknowledgments
- ZNLE Gliwice and Newag folders;
- SK, various issues;
- www.kolejowaklatka.org (website by Marek Dąbrowski).