The utilization rate of the Vectons leased by ZSSK Cargo is currently low. During the past weeks, the operator had no purpose for all its Vectron locomotive leased from S Rail Lease (10x – 383 201-210 / 193 938-940/973-979). As a result, the blue-white wrapped locomotives from Slovakia have been seen working rather exotic freight and (!) passenger trains. Some highlights:
We thank Mathias Oestreich, Karim Ibrahim, and Lukasz Piotrowski for sharing their pictures with us:
A video: S Rail Lease > ZSSK Cargo > PKP IC – 383 202 with an international passenger train from Warsaw to Berlin:
From the beginning, ZSSK Cargo tried to employ its Vectrons on the longest possible routes – For example, pulling iron ore trains from the Ukrainian broad-gauge transshipment terminal all the way across Slovakia – and two voltage systems – to Bratislava for Austrian steel mills. The first foreign services were wood trains from Germany to Slovak pulp and paper mills and coal shipments from Polish seaports to the steel mills in the east of Slovakia. Iron ore deliveries for the same steel mill from the Croatian port of Rijeka followed.
But, as ZSSK Cargo is strongly dependent on steel industry deliveries, the downturn in European steelmaking also means less work for the leased Vectrons. That is when the blue-white Vectrons started to flock out over Europe.