FACED WITH the prospect of having no ETCS-equipped trainsets available to operate the Antwerpen - Rotterdam - Amsterdam high speed line when it opens on July 1 2007 (RG 9.05 p519), HSL-Zuid concessionaire High Speed Alliance has decided to start with loco-hauled trains.

On December 23 HSA signed an agreement to lease 12 Traxx F140MS electric locos from Angel Trains. Able to operate on 25 kV 50Hz, 15 kV 162/3Hz, 3 kV and 1·5 kV DC, the 5600 kW locos will haul seven-car sets of NS Reizigers’ ICR stock at a maximum speed of 160 km/h.

On January 10 Angel confirmed that it had ordered nine extra Traxx F140MS locos from Bombardier, which will be fitted with ETCS Level 2 equipment. ETCS will also be fitted to six similar locos from a batch of 36 ordered on January 5. In the longer term the leasing company expects to make 13 ETCS-equipped locos available for the Betuwe Route (p68). Traxx F140MS is Bombardier’s designation for the SBB Class 484.

The €150m order placed on January 5 covers 26 multi-system locos and 10 F140DC versions for 3 kV operation in Italy. Of the multi-system units, 10 are destined to work between Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, another 10 between Germany and Poland, and six on services to Italy via Switzerland and Austria.

The extra units for HSA will bring Angel’s fleet of Traxx locos in service or on order to 80, made up of 35 multi-system units, 35 for 15 kV AC operation (DB Class 185) and the 10 DC locos due for delivery between October 2006 and March 2007. Bombardier is expected to start deliveries of the multi-system locos in January 2007.