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CRRC locomotive on test in North Macedonia

19 May 2019

NORTH MACEDONIA: National operator MŽ Transport is testing the first of four CRRC Zhuzhou electric locomotives it has ordered to haul freight on the north–south corridor between the Serbian and Greek borders.

The €8m order signed in January 2017 was financed using part of a €50m loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development. The operator had initially planned to buy three locos to replace aging ASEA/Rade Končar electric locos inherited from Yugoslavia, but added a fourth during the negotiations.

Designated Class 443, the 25 kV 50 Hz Bo-Bo design has a maximum speed of 120 km/h and is expected to be able to haul trains of up to 1 600 tonnes. It is also expected to be the first Chinese electric locomotive design to be certified as TSI compliant.

In 2015 MŽT took delivery of two EMUs and four DMUs ordered from CRRC at cost of €25m, partially financed from an EBRD loan.