ITALY: FS Group’s freight subsidiary Mercitalia announced an order for 'up to' 125 Bombardier Transportation locomotives and a total of 250 wagons on November 14.

The operator said Bombardier was awarded the €400m contract to supply the 6·4 MW Traxx DC3/MS locomotives to Mercitalia Rail and TX Logistik after a ‘very close’ eight-month tendering process which had attracted bids from ‘the main international manufacturers’. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in autumn 2018, and Bombardier is to maintain the locomotives both in Italy and abroad for eight years.

Mercitalia said the locomotives would be ‘the most technologically advanced among those available on the European market’. The order would enable the operator to renew more than a third of its fleet over three years, creating a fleet with one of the lowest average ages in Europe. Haulage capacity would be increased, while regenerative braking would significantly reduce energy consumption.

Meanwhile, orders have been placed for 250 wagons worth €27m. Tatravagonka Poprad is to supply intermodal business CEMAT with 50 twin-section wagons from early 2018 which will be used to transport mega semi-trailers, while Greenbrier will supply 200 wagons for steel coil traffic from summer 2018.

The wagons will be equipped with real-time monitoring technology powered by onboard energy harvesting systems.

Mercitalia Logistics Managing Director Marco Gosso said the orders represented ‘a very important part’ of FS Group’s 2017-26 business plan, which envisages investing €1·5bn in the relaunch of its freight activities. ‘Our goal is to use these new locomotives and wagons to enhance and improve freight services in Italy, along the trans-Alpine corridors and in the main European countries’, he said.