DENMARK: Meeting on August 23, DSB’s Board of Directors approved proposals to purchase 26 electric locomotives for regional passenger services on Sjaelland. The locomotives are intended to replace the Class ME diesels that currently power the double-deck push-pull trainsets on services from København to Ringsted and Helsingør, as well as the line to Kalundborg which is currently being electrified.

Tenders are to be invited in the autumn of 2016, with the aim of having the first locomotives in service from the beginning of 2020. DSB says it is looking for ‘standard’ locomotives which are ‘well-tested in operation’. As well as improving operational reliability, replacing diesel locos by electric will bring environmental benefits.

‘The acquisition of electric locomotives is the first step in a process which will provide DSB with modern electric rolling stock to meet the future transport challenges”, said CEO Flemming Jensen. Thanks to a ‘satisfactory’ financial position backed by a long-term transport contract with the government, DSB expects to finance the new locomotives without government support. It also says it is ‘well prepared for the acquisition of the future electric train sets’.

According to DSB’s Chairman Peter Schütze, the new locos will also reduce DSB’s dependency on the unreliable IC2 and IC4 DMUs, allowing the operator to ‘to plan a controlled phase-out’ of these units once enough of the national network has been electrified.