Photo: Toshiba

[DE] Toshiba + DB Cargo: a new hybrid shunter for the EU market

DB Cargo is going to cooperate with Toshiba from Japan, one of the leading Asian suppliers in the field of rail vehicle technology. Together they are going to conduct a feasibility study for the joint development and the subsequent acquisition of initially 100 new hybrid locomotives by DB Cargo.

The hybrid vehicles are to be used as short-range shunting locomotives and, in addition to significantly lower fuel consumption and lower maintenance costs, enable a higher average fleet availability. The first test vehicles are expected to be available by the end of 2019. No financial details are given.

With the deal, DB Cargo hopes to develop the supplier market for new freight locomotives and their components. DB Cargo senses that the innovative power of European manufacturers is declining, as competition is low. Toshiba offers DB Cargo access to future technologies, which are currently not available on the European market. The German freight operator also hopes to improve its knowledge about the new tech being used in revenue service and during maintenance.

Toshiba already has experience with hybrid (battery) shunting locomotives. In March 2010, it presented the first HD300 series shunter for JP Freight. Toshiba itself also provides datasheets and a video about the HD300 project.

In return, DB Cargo offers Toshiba access to the European market, where it has not been able to establish itself yet. This is mainly due to the lack of experience in operation in Europe, the complexity of licensing procedures and the lack of partners. DB Cargo intends to overcome these hurdles for Toshiba, in order to make the European market for rail vehicle technology more viable.

Next to new locomotives, DB Cargo and Toshiba are also working on together on project HELMS, which includes the rebuilding of two V90 locomotives as hybrid heavy duty shunters.