Siemens X4E ‘Vectron’ DC (EU46)
191 952-1 displayed at the TRAKO 2011 Fair; Gdańsk, October 14, 2011.
Service tests of 5 170 021-1 with PKP InterCity: Warszawa Wschodnia station, May 25, 2012.
5 170 037-3 from the DB Schenker Rail Polska fleet, displayed at the TRAKO 2013 Fair in Gdańsk; September 24, 2013.
5 170 052-2, DB Schenker Rail Polska, leased to PKP InterCity; Warszawa Wschodnia station, March 25, 2015. Apart from passenger cars (not visible), it hauls the ‘cold’ EP09-002.
Another ‘Vectron’ operated by DB Schenker Rail Polska: 5 170 054-8, photographed at the Warszawa Praga station on June 10, 2015.
Yet another ‘Vectron’ from the DB Schenker Rail Polska fleet: 5 170 046-4, Małaszewicze, July 5, 2015.
193 820, displayed at the TRAKO 2015 fair in Gdańsk, September 22, 2015. Photo by Chris West (thanks for permission!).
EU46-503, PKP Cargo (Siemens 21980/2015), location unknown, January 2016. In February 2020 this locomotive was leased to PKP InterCity. Source: www.kurierkolejowy.eu.
5 170 038, operated by DB Schenker Rail Polska, photographed near Warszawa Praga station on January 28, 2016.
193 220 (Siemens 21840/2014) is operated by Czech LokoTrain and leased from European Locomotive Leasing; Petrovice, Czech Republic, March 10, 2017.
The same location and date: 5 170 048 (Siemens 21881/2014) from the DB Cargo Polska fleet.
5 170 045 (Siemens 21879/2013) from the DB Cargo Polska fleet, photographed near Warszawa Okęcie station on October 18, 2019.
193 806, owned by Railpool; location and date unknown. Photo by Andreas Nagel (source: www.commons.wikimedia.org).
The family of ES64F4 and ES64U4 electric locomotives, developed by Siemens in early 1990s and later put into production, proved to be a success. Known as ‘EuroSprinter’ or ‘Taurus’, these machines were sold to 38 European railway managements and leasing companies. They are also used in Poland, by PKP and several private operators. Between 1991 and 2011 as many as 1330 examples were built. However, these locomotives were designed mainly to comply with requirements of German and Austrian operators and a need to develop a more versatile and flexible locomotive was soon recognized. Such machine could be cheaper and more suitable for open-access operators and lease companies throughout Europe. From the very beginning it was assumed that two basic variants should be developed, with maximum speed of 160 km/h and 200 km/h, respectively; new locomotive should have a multi-system capacity and was to be configurable, in order to satisfy individual needs of possible customers.
Design work started in 2006 and the new project, known under its commercial name ‘Vectron’ (type X4E), was revealed in June 2010. First official presentation took place at the InnoTrans Fair in Berlin next September. Four basic configurations were developed, namely:
- MS (multi-system, 6 400 MW AC / 5 200 MW DC, 200 km/h, two variants differing in equipment details);
- AC (single-system 6 400 MW, 200 km/h, two variants as above);
- DC (single-system 5 200 MW, 160 km/h);
- DE (diesel-electric version, with MTU 16V 4000R84 engine, 160 km/h).
The latter version was rather surprising, as Siemens had declared that development of a diesel-powered ‘Vectron’ was a question of distant future. Obviously it was a response to the diesel version of TRAXX from Bombardier. At the InnoTrans 2012 Fair a ‘hybrid’ version was displayed, with the auxiliary 245 hp diesel engine.
Just like its predecessor, ‘Vectron’ has been a commercial success. First orders came in December 2010 from Railpool leasing company, six multi-system locomotives being delivered in 2012 and classed 193. All were built by Siemens Munich-Allach works. Initial service tests took place in Germany and Austria. Further orders followed from various European operators and leasing companies. Until late 2014 at least 83 ‘Vectrons’ had been produced, with firm orders or options for over 150 more. The largest single order is from Finnish VR railways, for eighty examples with auxiliary diesels, to be delivered between 2016 and 2026. According to the list published by Eisenbahn-Kurier (vol. 122, special issue), in late 2016 ‘Vectrons’ of all versions were used by the following operators and leasing companies:
- Alpha Trains Group (Germany): ten examples, numbered 193 550 through 559;
- BLS Cargo (Switzerland): fifteen examples, numbered Re 475 401 through 415;
- boxXpress.de (Germany): eight examples, numbered 193 840 through 843 and 880 through 883;
- CargoNet (Norway): two examples, 193 923 and 924;
- CargoServ (Austria): single 1193 890;
- ČD Cargo (Czech republic): five examples, numbered 383 001 through 005;
- Compania Ferroviaria Italiana (Italy): two examples, 191 011 and 012;
- DB Cargo Polska (previously DB Schenker Rail Polska): 23 examples, numbered 5170 035 through 057;
- Eisenbahngesellschaft Potsdam (Germany): single 193 848;
- EP Cargo (Czech Republic): single 193 823;
- European Locomotive Leasing (Austria): 75 examples, numbered 193 201 through 273, 831 and 832 (including orders);
- FuoriMuro (Italy): two examples, numbered 191 002 and 003;
- ITL Eisenbahngesellschaft (Germany): six examples, numbered 193 891 through 896 (including orders);
- Lokomotion (Germany): eight examples, numbered 193 770 through 777 (ordered);
- mgw Service (Germany): two examples, numbered 193 845 and 846;
- Mitsui Rail Capital Europe (Germany): 65 examples, numbered X4E-600 through 616, 640 through 653, 655 through 660, 850 through 867 and 870 through 879;
- Paribus Capital Gruppe (Germany): two examples, numbered 193 921 and 922;
- PIMK (Bulgaria): single 192 962;
- PKP Cargo (Poland): fifteen examples (see below);
- Prvá Slovenská Železnica (Slovakia): single 193 820;
- Railpool-Gruppe (Germany): nineteen examples, numbered 193 801 through 806, 810 through 817 and 824 through 828 (including orders);
- UniCredit Leasing (Italy): eight examples, numbered 191 013 through 020;
- VR Yhtyma Öy (Finland): 80 examples, classed Sr3 and numbered 3301 through 3380 (including orders);
- Wiener Lokalbahnen Cargo (Austria): single 1193 980.
Moreover, 21 locomotives remained the manufacturer’s property; some of them had been leased to various operators and three were operated in Poland. This gave a total of 374 examples. According to www.new.siemens.com, until February 2020 a total of 700 ‘Vectrons’ were delivered, with orders for further 984. 1000th ‘Vectron’ was accepted by Danish state railways DSB in early May 2020.
‘Vectron’ was displayed at the TRAKO 2011 Fair in Gdańsk in October 2011, attracting much interest. In early 2012 one example (5 170 021-7) underwent service tests with PKP InterCity, with 5 170 020-9 following a few months later. Next presentation was at the TRAKO 2013 in September 2013, but this time the 5 170 037-3 was sporting the bright-red livery of the DB Schenker Rail Polska (now DB Cargo Polska). This operator ordered 23 examples in the DC version, classed 193, in November 2012. Last four were delivered in February 2015 and there is still an option for further thirteen examples. In February 2015 three ‘Vectrons’ 5 170 049-8, 5 170 052-2 and 5 170 054-8 were leased from DB Schenker Rail Polska by PKP InterCity, due to a shortage of operational EP09s. They ran with express trains from Warsaw to Kraków and Poznań and were returned in October. Two leased ‘Vectrons’ were also operated by CTL Logistics and one briefly served with Freightliner PL. In September 2015 PKP Cargo ordered fifteen examples, classed EU46 and numbered EU46-501 through 515, with an option for further five. They were delivered between January 2016 and May 2017. An order for five examples covered by the option was announced in January 2019 and completed in January 2020. In February 2020 EU46-501 and EU46-503 were leased to PKP InterCity. The latter operator has also leased 193 622 from Rail Force One and 193 625 and 193 626 from Mitsui Rail Capital Europe. Rail Time Polska – a private operator, former NBE Rail Polska – currently operates eleven locomotives of this type, leased from Mitsui Rail Capital Europe (one, classed 193) and ÖBB-Produktion GmbH (ten, classed 1293). Finally, a single example, 193 807, is operated by Lotos Kolej (leased from Industrial Division). This gives for today (February 2020) a total of 58 ‘Vectrons’ in Poland. Moreover, three locomotives of this type, classed 383, are operated by PKP Cargo International a. s., a Czech subsidiary of PKP Cargo.
Main technical data
1) Until May 2020, according to Siemens’ website.
2) February 2020.
5) Depending on version.
References and acknowledgments
- SK, various issues
- www.kolejowaklatka.org (website by Marek Dąbrowski);
- Eisenbahn-Kurier Special 122: Vectron – Siemens-Loks für Europa.