The conversion was carried out in cooperation between Nordic Re-Finance, Green Cargo and Alstom, and the equipment installed is Ebicab Baseline 3.4. Seven more of the company's RC4s will be equipped in the near future and the project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2024.
The vehicle has been granted temporary approval for trial operation in commercial service, which means that the locomotives can run on trains as usual to ensure that everything works as expected. In the first half of 2024, the vehicle is expected to receive a permanent authorisation from the European Railway Agency (ERA) for operation in Sweden, which will then be extended to Norway.
Mikael Zagerholm, Technical Manager at Nordic Re-Finance, comments: "The RC4 is perhaps the most classic of all freight trains. The fact that we are now preparing the locomotive for further decades of service on the Swedish railways means that we can continue to offer our customers a robust and proven electric locomotive. As we are also equipping the Traxx AC2 with ETCS, this means that our entire fleet of electric locomotives will have an extended service life and will also meet future traction needs.
The roll-out of the EU's new common signalling system, ETCS, is underway throughout Europe, affecting both track and rolling stock. In Sweden, key sections such as Botniabanan and Haparandabanan have been put into service, and in the summer of 2024 the busy Malmbanan will also be equipped with ETCS. In the long term, it will be increasingly necessary to have rolling stock that can read the new signals. The system also includes an STM, which translates the old ATC2 signalling system into the new computer.
Demand for ETCS-equipped locomotives is growing steadily, and Nordic Re-Finance currently has three types of locomotive in the process of being equipped. The RC4 and Traxx AC2 electric locomotives and the TMe diesel locomotive. All these projects are co-financed by the European Union through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).