ON FEBRUARY 14 Russia’s Ministry of Railways signed a contract with ABB Daimler-Benz Transportation (Schweiz) AG for the development of three-phase-motored electric locomotives for the country’s 1524mm gauge network. Adtranz is to provide complete traction packages for an initial build of 21 six-axle locos, worth around SFr80m. Designated Class EP10, the 132 tonne Bo-Bo-Bo locos will have proven GTO-based control equipment. Mechanical parts will be assembled at the former Soviet electric loco works in Novocherkassk.

The EP10s will be equipped for dual-system operation on both RZD’s 25 kV 50Hz and 3 kV DC networks, although the initial build is mainly intended for the October Railway main line between Moscow and St Petersburg which is now being modernised. The locos are designed for operation at up to 160 km/h in ambient temperatures ranging from -50 to +40°C. Continuous rating at the wheels will be 7200 kW, with a tractive effort of 375 kN when starting and 315 kN at 120 km/h.

Adtranz expects the initial prototype to be rolled out ’in two years from now’, with the first of the 20-strong series build entering service a year later. There is provision in the contract for Novocherkassk to build further batches of EP10s, although no details have been released about any technology transfer for local manufacture of the electrical equipment. o