THIS MONTH will see the start of negotiations for a contract to renew the Austrian Federal Railways diesel locomotive fleet. Bids were called in February, with submissions due by the middle of August. ÖBB’s current diesel fleet comprises eight different types, most of which are more than 30 years old.

As diesel traction still accounts for 36% of ÖBB train-km, a renewal strategy is urgently required. Among options studied by a project team over the last year are refurbishment of the best classes, purchase of standard designs, and development of new locomotive types to meet local requirements.

ÖBB also wants to incorporate the latest advances in environmental acceptability, reduced emissions and fuel consumption. Locomotives will be needed for three basic power ranges: 300, 500 and 1600 kW. A contract is due to be awarded by the end of this year. o