[BE] DB Cargo: First commercial services with the Vectron in Belgium [updated]

It was DB Cargo’s 193 341 that had the honor to be the first Vectron in commercial service in Belgium. On 29.08.2020 the red locomotive arrived light engine as train e89094 from Aachen to Antwerp. Since then the locomotive has become a common sight in the country to which its design now pays a tribute.

This article was first published on 31.08.2020 and updated on 24.09.2020. Our thanks goes out to Laurent Wallorail for the picture.

Above you see DB Cargo officially announcing the first run which was an important step for the Vectron, of which several new configurations (A39, A54, A60) have been released that include all features for Belgium. The authorization follows around two years after a lenghty process of tests. In 2018, it was DB Cargo locomotive 193 318 that was used for dynamic tests in Belgium:

Alpha Trains > Lineas 2827 with DB Cargo 193 318 in Visé-Haut on 22.06.2018 – Photo: Laurent Joseph / Wallorail.be

The same loco in 2019 in Wegberg-Wildenrath:

Vectron Dual Mode 248 001 on tests at the Wegberg-Wildenrath test centre, together with 193 318 of DB Cargo 07.08.2019 Photo: Wolfgang Scheer

Small design change

Below you see 193 341 with a revenue earning freight train from Aachen (DE) to Antwerpen-Noord. You have to look closely but yes, around the DB logo is now a white outline of Belgium.

DB Cargo 193 341 on 24.09.2020 in Visé – 24.09.2020 – Laurent Joseph

June 2020: DB Cargo Belgium an official railway undertaking

Not only the locomotive but also the operator is new for the country. Since 14.06.2020, DB Cargo Belgium is a fully acknowledged Belgian railway undertaking,  running its trains using its own licenses.

Before that, the company ran its train using the licenses of DB Cargo Nederland or subcontracted other operators to pull its trains. DB Cargo Belgium performs shunting duties in Antwerp and has long haul contracts connecting the Belgium harbors with the European Hinterland.

Railpool > DB Cargo Nederland 186 498 in Mönchengladbach on 20.01.2019 – Photo: Achim Scheil