BACK in 1992 Norwegian State Railways placed a NKr300m order for a small fleet of Type Di6 diesel locomotives from Krupp-MAK and Siemens for delivery in 1994-95. They arrived in Norway two years behind schedule.

Since then the locos have had a chequered history, and at one stage they were returned to Siemens Schienenfahrzeugtechnik in Kiel for modifications. Among the problems were higher than specified lateral track forces, and one locomotive catching fire. NSB refused to accept the locomotives until December last year, when it agreed to take 11 out of 12 units under a deal which provided for Siemens to extend the guarantee period from two to four years.

All seemed to be well, but more problems then surfaced. NSB says another unit caught fire, and the electronics failed to function at -35°C whereas the specification required -40°C. The railway issued a statement on April 28 saying that that ’availability has up to now not been at the agreed level and new faults have occurred in 1998’, prompting it to issue ’a written notice about rescission of the contract’. This means that ’the contract will be terminated on July 1 if the availability does not come up to the agreed level.’

NSB comments that this means ’looking round for new diesel locomotives. At the same time an upgrading programme must be initiated in order to keep the existing engines from the 1950s, the Di3, in working order a few years more.’ o