(ZDM) At the end of May 2021, it is planned to complete tests of the first mainline electric locomotive built by the Chinese company CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive (CRRC ZELC) in accordance with the requirements of Rail Cargo Hungaria (RCH), a subsidiary of the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB).
The purpose of the tests is to certify hybrid locomotives for operation on the railways of the EU countries. It is planned that such locomotives will be in demand in Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria.
In September 2019, RCH and CRRC Zhuzhou signed a contract for the supply to Hungary of two shunting locomotives and two mainline locomotives with a hybrid power plant, where along with the equipment for power supply from the overhead line, an energy storage unit based on supercapacitors is provided.
Under the terms of the contract, the locomotives are leased by RCH for the first 4 years, including their full maintenance by the supplier. A four-axle main electric locomotive can be powered from an alternating current contact network of 15 kV, 16.7 Hz or 25 kV, 50 Hz. Developing a power of 5.6 MW, it is designed to travel at speeds up to 140 km / h. Supercapacitors with a capacity of 350 kW provide an autonomous running reserve on a flat area of at least 10 km.
Testing will take place at the DB Systemtechnik test center in Minden (Germany). Presumably, the total operating time of the locomotive should be 1750 hours. During sea trials on the German railways (DB), the electric locomotive must drive a freight train at a distance of 500 km, and on resource trains, it must run 1570 km.
In case of positive results of operation, the Hungarian company has the right to extend the lease or buy out electric locomotives with the possibility of ordering another 20 locomotives of each type. The process is complicated by the lack of experience in certifying Chinese locomotives for use in EU countries and in interpreting the compliance of their parameters with the requirements of the fourth railway package.
At the same time, Chinese-made locomotives are already in use in the EU countries. Thus, two DF7G-E shunting diesel locomotives are operated by the Estonian state railway logistics company Operail (EVR Cargo). In 2011, EVR Cargo ordered 16 of these locomotives from CNR (later merged with CRRC). However, having received two units, she refused further delivery (photo: CRRC ZELC).