SWITZERLAND: BLS Cargo took delivery of the first two of 15 Siemens Vectron MS locomotives in Spiez on April 29. Designated Class Re475, they will be subject to ‘intensive’ testing over the coming weeks to obtain certification for use in Switzerland, Germany and Austria ahead of the formal handover to the operator which is planned for the end of June.

BLS Cargo intends to use the multi-system electric locomotives on freight services between Rotterdam and northern Italy, and they are equipped for use in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and the Netherlands. ‘These will be the first Vectron locomotives to be kitted out for all five countries along the north–south corridor from the Netherlands through to Italy’, according to Christian Schlegel, Head of Sales & Projects Europe at Siemens.

BLS ordered the 15 locomotives in March 2015. Three more are scheduled to be delivered this year, with subsequent batches arriving in 2017 and early 2018. ‘We are happy that we have been able to acquire the new locomotives in such a short time’, said Dirk Stahl, CEO of BLS Cargo. ‘Fitted out for international use, the Re475s are the ideal addition to our fleet of locomotives and will bring us even closer to our clients along the Rotterdam – Genova corridor’.