The first e-hybrid shunting locomotive developed for Rail Cargo Hungaria (RCH) has arrived in Hungary

The first e-hybrid shunting locomotive developed for Rail Cargo Hungaria (RCH) has arrived in Hungary

The locomotive can tow a train without an overhead line for almost one and half hours.

The locomotive was developed by CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co. Ltd., the subsidiary of the world’s largest railway vehicle manufacturer, CRRC Group, and manufactured in Southeast China, in Hunan province by weighs 74 tonnes. Its technology is an electric-electric hybrid, which is also unique in the electrical market. The vehicle uses a lithium-titanate battery for shunting operations. Due to its high-capacity energy storing technology, it charges the battery on routes, where overhead lines are available, hence enhancing the vehicle’s efficiency. Its traction capacity in overhead line mode is 850 kW and when using the battery 350 kW. The e-hybrid shunting locomotive of Rail Cargo Hungaria (RCH) can tow a train of 800-tonnes without an overhead line for 85 minutes at a speed of 20 km/h (the marshaling activity is carried out at a similar pace).

In the following months the vehicle, which represents a unique technology of its kind in Europe, will be subject to tests required for the authorization and use in Hungary.

The rail freight company ordered the locomotive to meet the shunting needs of a single wagon transport service, which is provided nationwide in Hungary only by RCH. This service is the most costly railway activity, during which the wagons of a freight train are assembled or disassembled at the shunting stations. For this task, RCH mostly utilizes diesel locomotives ordered from MÁV-START. As the services provided by MÁV-START are decreasing, it is strategically important for RCH to strengthen its shunting capacity. Due to this, and to enhance cost-effectiveness and sustainability, the company ordered the technological development and manufacturing of the locomotive back in 2019. After the authorization process is completed, RCH will lease the finished machine under favorable financial conditions, including maintenance.

After obtaining the licenses, the vehicle will fulfill tasks in Hungary mostly on shunting stations and industrial sidings. In Hungary, there is no overhead line above the industrial sidings and the loading tracks, therefore, railway companies are currently performing shunting activities with costly and polluting diesel machines.

The new shunting locomotive will commence its operation in the second half of 2022.

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