CZECH REPUBLIC: Two locomotive orders were approved by the ČD Cargo board on August 8.

Bombardier Transportation is to supply 10 Traxx MS3 electric locomotives in 2019-20, with options for up to 40 more. These will be designated as the new Class 388.

Siemens is to be awarded a KC400m contract to supply a further four Vectron multi-voltage 6·4 MW electric locomotives in 2018-19, augmenting the fleet of eight supplied in 2016-17.

The additional Vectron locomotives are intended to strengthen ČD Cargo’s position in cross-border traffic in central Europe, and like the first batch will be equipped with ETCS Level 2. They will be suitable for operation in Germany, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania, with the option to add Slovenia and Croatia.

The two orders are part of a traction acquisition plan announced by ČD Cargo in January, under which the operator envisages replacing most of its oldest 3 kV DC class 122, 123 and 130, 25 kV 50 Hz class 230 and 240 and dual-voltage class 340, 363 and 372 electric locomotives.