Photo: Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane

[IT] Italian state railways want to order up to 125 new electric locomotives

Ferrovie.it reports: Today, FS Italiane has presented its plans for Mercitalia, the new umbrella brand for the group freight and logistics operations. FS Italiane wants its unprofitable freight division (70 million euro loss in 2016) to make money again, with the help of private investors, and by ordering new rolling stock. In ten years, the turnover of the Mercitalia activities should be doubled, from 1 billion euro now to 2 billion euro in 2026.

Mercitalia is comprised of seven companies that will employ around 4.000 people, being Mercitalia Rail, TX Logistik, Cemat, Mercitalia Transport Services, Mercitalia Terminal, Terminal AlpTransit (TerAlp) and TLF.

Updated: TX Logistik and Mercitalia Rail have issued a non-binding call for expressions of interest (EOIs) for a contract to supply and maintain up to 125 electric locomotives. The expiration date is 17.03.2017.

– 30 (+30 option) 3kV DC locomotives, min.5.2 MW
– 40 (+25 option) 15kV/25kV AC + 1.5kV/3kV DC, min. 5.6MW

Deliveries of locomotives for both operators will begin in the third quarter of 2018, with a minimum of two locomotives per calendar month. The locomotives must be fully homologated at the date of first delivery.

Railcolor: It is clear that FS Italiane has to rejuvenate its fleet quickly and drastically, to keep up with competition. Domestic railfreight services are still the (almost)exclusive domain of electrics and diesel locomotives inherited from the time there was no open-access freight transport in Italy yet. Using the E403 for freight trains, and the hiring of MRCE / SBB Cargo International / Akiem locomotives can not be seen as structural solutions. TX Logistik, that is operational in many European countries now, does have a modern locomotive fleet, but almost all are hired from lease companies. If the EOI materializes in a final order, it will drastically change the fleet strategy of TX Logistik.

Wanting fully homologated DC and MS locomotives by the end of 2018, narrows down the choice for Mercitalia/TX Logistik considerably. By then, only Siemens’ Vectron (191 and 193) and Bombardier’s TRAXX platform (186 and 483) will meet this demand.