Years ago, in 1965, the very first six-axle prototype of the CFR EA/LE 5100 was delivered from Sweden to Romania. Now, their modern, asynchronous successor, the Transmontana by Softronic has finally made it’s way back to the North. This is the story of their journey across Europe.
On 29.06.2018, the two Softronic Transmontana locomotives for Green Cargo started their voyage to Sweden. Throughout the entire trip, the green painted LEMAs had their sides protected by white adhesive foil. Were they hiding something underneath? Do they have a new Swedish “littra” and numbers? You will find out by the end of the article.
Before we begin, a few numbers about the trip:
- Countries crossed (5): Romania (RO) -> Hungary (HU) -> Slovakia (SK) -> Czech Republic (CZ) -> Germany (DE) -> Sweden (SE)
- Total distance: ~2000 km
- Total duration: 9 days (28.06.2018 – 06.07.2018)
- Locomotives used for transport: 610 102 (LEMA 025) of CER Cargo / 365 002 (EffiLiner 3000) of CER Cargo / BR 111 210 of Rail Adventure / TRAXX AC2 185 674 of Railpool
The authors: This article would not have been possible without the help of our Railcolorful community. We would like to thank all the photographers who contributed (in order of appearance): Jesper Luckmann, Andrei Marian, Adrian Florin Tuca, Tim Roux, Péter Pacsika, Szabolcs Endrődi, Károly Ákos, Šimon Prečo, Steffen Kliemann, Norman Gottberg, Alexandru Pugnia / Jurnal Feroviar and Mark Barber.
For more information about these locomotives and the project, check out:
Final tests before the trip
Before embarking on a long trip you always have to prepare. And when the trip is ~2000 km up North, you prepare even harder. Below you will see photographs of some of the last tests that Softronic carried out with the ‘Polar Circle’ Transmontanas in their native land – Romania.
Pro trainspotter tip: Pay close attention to the red wheels and the snow ploughs. They will appear somewhat different once the journey commences.
The journey begins: Romania
On the 28.06.2018 the two green locomotives departed for Hungary. A special video by AdySoft shows us the very beginning of this remarkable adventure, which started in Softronic, Craiova (RO):
Obviously, the two green locomotives felt like home in Romania, so no additional traction was necessary. Both machines started the journey under their own power.
Here the locomotives are seen on their way towards Hegyeshalom (HU), mere meters before Curtici (RO) on the foggy morning of 29.06.2018.
Hungary: the blue sister arrives
Once the locomotives entered Hungary, their older blue/yellow sister, CER Cargo 610 102 (a.k.a LEMA 025) took over. And we have some quite impressive visuals to show you. The first two were taken near Gyoma (HU).
Szolnok station (HU) was a good place for taking some close-up photographs. First the six-axle trio all together:
And a detailed view of each of the Green LEMAs. First 033 and then 032:
For the railway nerds: Do you spot the minor differences between the two locos? We can see, for example, that the number plate of 33 is slightly smaller than the one of 32. Also cab numbers are placed differently. Oh, and we mentioned that the red color of the wheels won’t stay long. Now they are painted in gray, along with other bogie elements and battery equipment.
It’s time to leave Szolnok and move forward. (Spoiler alert!) There’s one last photo from Hungary afterwards:
Here’s the last image of the three Transmontanas from Hungary, taken near Albertirsa. CER 610 102 made for a nice contrast for the newest generation of the Transmontana design. Cab roof, marker lights, air vents, A/C units…and many more upgrades have been added to the v3.0 version of the Transmontana.
Slovakia & the Czech Republic: EffiLiner on the go
A few days later, the three locomotives emerged first in Kuty, Slovakia, from where CER Cargo 365 002 took over. In the Czech Republic, the Green Cargo Transmontanas were far from alone. On the 02.07.2018 they were seen passing trough Prague (CZ) in a convoy with a DB 186 + ECR 186 (!). All this, plus some more freight cars, towed by the EffiLiner 3000.
Unfortunately, this time the LEMAs were coupled to the back of the train. 032 is seen on the tail:
Germany: a modern classic by RailAdventure
On the very same day, 02.07.2018, locomotives were seen sided in Dresden (DE), awaiting further transport to the North. 111 210 of RailAdventure was the chosen one to guide them through Germany.
Two days later, on 04.07.2018, their special train was seen in Saarmund (DE) on its way to Rostock harbour (DE), once again pulled by 111 210. Afterwards, the locos took the ferry to Trelleborg. Sweden.
Mission accomplished: arrival in Sweden
On Swedish ground, Railpool TRAXX AC2 185 674 was the one to greet the Transmontanas in their new home. The arrival in Borlange was on last Friday, 06.07.2018, nine days after the journey began.
In Sweden: Time to unwrap and…more tests, of course!
Now that the journey is over, the tests may begin! Green Cargo is already making trial runs with the locomotives in single and multiple modes. And guess what? The white stickers have been finally removed, showing…wait-for-it…more green paint! We all expected something else, but perhaps branding with Green Cargo logos, and hopefully, some promotional visuals will become a fact soon. Until then, we leave you with some of the very first photos, showing LEMA 032 with a test train.
But wait, there is already news from their new home. The newly formed class for the locomotives, according to the Swedish railway administration is Mb. And their new NVR numbers are as follows:
- LEMA 032, formerly known as 91 53 0 480032-8, is to become Littra Mb / 91 74 0004 001-5
- LEMA 033, formerly known as 91 53 0 480033-6, is to become Littra Mb / 91 74 0004 002-3
And for dessert: a photo by Softronic, showing both locomotives (perhaps in multiple mode?) on a test train: