Siemens ‘Vectron’ (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. Source: www.kurierkolejowy.eu.
5 170 038, operated by DB Schenker Rail Polska, photographed near Warszawa Praga station on January 28, 2016.
The family of ES64F4 and ES64U4 electric locomotives, developed by Siemens in 1990s and later put into production, proved to be a success. Known as ‘EuroSprinter’ or ‘Taurus’, these machines were sold to a number of European railway managements and are also used in Poland, by PKP and several private operators. However, they 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’, 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.
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.
‘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. This operator ordered 23 examples in the DC version, classed 191, 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 run with express trains from Warsaw to Kraków and Poznań. Two leased ‘Vectrons’ are also operated by and CTL Logistics and one briefly served with Freightliner PL. In September 2015 PKP Cargo ordered fifteen examples, classed EU46, to be delivered between January 2016 and summer 2017, with an option for further five.
Main technical data
1) March 2015.
References and acknowledgments
- SK, various issues;
- www.kolejowaklatka.org (website by Marek Dąbrowski).