zdopravy.cz reports: The Czech Railways (ČD) have obtained all necessary licenses for the operation of the 380 series locomotives in Germany for speeds up to 200 km/h.
The ČD had to obtain the final documents themselves, which normally would have been the task of manufacturer Skoda. However, although the 380 series locomotives did receive an operation permit from EBA for Germany, with which Skoda fulfilled all its contractual obligations, the machines could only be used with reduced top speed and could not be used for pulling trains. Unpractical.
These restrictions were implemented after DB Netz, German’s infrastructure manager, made clear it had concerns about the compatibility of the locomotives with German tracks and bridges in general, and with the Elbe bridge in Dresden in particular. These issues have now been addressed.
But it is all too late. One of the main reasons for ČD to invest in the development of new interoperable, multisystem electrics was the possibility to use them for Eurocity services into Germany. But for this the certification process has taken too long and meanwhile ČD decided to hire Vectron locomotives from ELL for this purpose, for the next ten years. The timing is painful, as this leasing contract was signed just months ago.
With the new certification, ČD can use the 380s in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria, Poland and Germany.