Traxx P160 multi-engine diesel locomotive (Photo: Bombardier).

GERMANY: Bombardier Transportation announced on December 14 that its Traxx P160 multi-engine diesel locomotive had become the first vehicle type to be approved under national railway authority EBA's reformed authorisation programme.

A memorandum of understanding to reform the approvals process was signed in June by the Ministry of Transport, EBA and representatives from the rail industry. This followed from a call by DB Chairman Rüdger Grube for a fundamental revision and simplification of rolling stock certification procedures, which were leading to delays in putting new trains into service and had attracted criticism from the supply industry including the then President & CEO of Siemens.

Bombardier said authorisation of the Traxx P160 ME took 'a record time of just 11 weeks' following the reforms, which permit some operational testing to be undertaken by private organisations with legal ratification by EBA.

'This success is an important milestone in the development of the authorisation process in Germany and the Traxx locomotive platform', said Karl Runge, Vice-President Group Authorisation Management. 'I thank all those involved at EBA and our partners for their excellent co-operation. With this approval, we have taken an important step towards a more reliable authorisation process in Germany.'

  • An article on the debate over the future of European vehicle approvals appeared in the May 2013 issue of Railway Gazette International, which subscribers can read in the digital archive.