AUSTRIAN Federal Railway has selected Siemens for a Sch1·6bn contract to renew its diesel locomotive fleet over the next four years. Announcing the decision on November 26, ÖBB General Director Helmut Draxler said the railway had ’opted for a package deal’ combining both main line and shunting locos. The contract covers over 100 new locos, and includes further options worth over Sch2bn.

The order follows a detailed study into ÖBB’s future diesel strategy, which led to the calling of tenders for a fleet renewal programme last year (RG 9.98 p563). The railway has identified three main power ranges to be filled: 300, 500 and 1600 kW. Draxler insisted that the Siemens bid was both technically superior and Sch96m cheaper than the next best offer.

ÖBB has already selected Siemens to supply up to 400 Taurus multi-system electric locos to take advantage of the increasingly liberalised market for international rail freight. Draxler called the diesel deal another step towards ’our realistic and ambitious offensive strategy to establish ÖBB as a big player in the European freight market.’