Last Mile and Diversion: Bahn Replaces Old Diesel Locomotives in Freight Traffic

Deutsche Bahn’s shipping company, DB Cargo, has confirmed its goal to replace all diesel locomotives with modern engines in the coming years. In this way, DB Cargo wants to help achieve climate goals in the transportation sector. Accordingly, orders for hybrid locomotives or dual-powered locomotives were again increased at the turn of the year. New vehicles should also streamline operations. In general, it is about replacing about 900 diesel locomotives.

According to DB Cargo, “Europe’s largest freight railway” already uses 95 percent of its power with climate-friendly electric locomotives. With the new locomotives, the customer’s “last mile” and other transportation services at freight yards will be cleaner.

“We are investing in our locomotive fleet because we will grow. Using the latest technology, we are helping to achieve climate goals in transportation. With our modernization program, about 14 million liters of diesel could be saved each year,” Sigrid Nikota, Board Member of DB Freight Forwarding says Head of DB Shipping.

The last-mile upgrade also means the locomotive fleet can be reduced, since a dual-powered locomotive, for example, doesn’t have to be constantly replaced when a track profile changes.

In 2020, DB Cargo has already concluded a $1 billion deal for new freight locomotives with Siemens Mobility. Vectron Dual Mode locomotives can switch between conventional diesel engines and modern electric motors and can therefore be used on electrified track sections and on branch lines without overhead lines – eg for driving at customer premises. The first 150 of these two-wheeled locomotives will be delivered in 2023.

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In fact, only 100 locomotives were planned for the first delivery. Delivery has now been increased to 150 vehicles. To this end, an additional 46 locomotives will be equipped with specific modifications to the range of applications planned by DB Cargo, and the DB Cargo rail assembly assembly will take over four machines.

New orders early in the year include 50 innovative hybrid convertible locomotives from Vossloh Locomotives, which are said to have adequate engine power and state-of-the-art exhaust gas cleaning. These can transport freight trains weighing several thousand tons. The drive system has a modular structure and the components must be interchangeable if further development occurs. 50 locomotives will be used from 2024.

The purchase of 100 Toshiba HDB 800 hybrid convertible locomotives has also been put on hold. It is manufactured in Rostock. The first deliveries are planned for 2024.


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