In the past months, Siemens has prepared to first Vectron locomotive for test runs in Finland. As from 2017 Siemens will deliver 80 hybrid locomotives (+97 option) to the Finnish state railways (VR).
Of course, this requires extensive testing. Siemens wants to take out every risk. Finland has completely different climatic conditions which the new machines need to endure effortlessly. Temperatures as low as –40 °C should be no problem for both diesel and electric engines of the machines.
Today, a new Siemens stock locomotive left Munich, bound for the harbor of Rostock, numbered 193 971. At first sight it is ‘normal’ electric Vectron AC locomotive, but as you can see it is placed on bright yellow colored ‘loco buggies’. Finland has a different track gauge, 1524 mm instead of our ‘standard’ 1435 mm. So this Vectron has a wider track gauge and needs the loco buggies for transport in Germany.
The white 193 971 is decorated with stickers commemorating the 160 year long history of Siemens’ presence in Finland. The company’s relation with the country dates back to 1855, when Siemens built its first telegraph line in Finland. Additionally, the locomotive sports the slogan ‘Vectron kotonaan suomessa’, in English: the Vectron at home in Finland.
To prevent that people will misinterpret this item: Siemens has pointed out today that this locomotive is not part of the final batch for the Finnish railways. They call the 971 an ‘advanced locomotive for testing purposes’.
On 21.03.2015, Siemens testbed locomotive no. 193 971 was transported from Hanko harbour to Ilmala depot in Helsinki. It was taken to Helsinki pulled by a diesel locomotive (no. Dv12 2647).
Testing in Finland with the 971 is expected to commence after Eastern and will continue into Summer, until August at least. Test will take place on lines north of Helsinki in the direction of Lathi.