AUSTRIA: Regional operator Stern & Hafferl Verkehr, which runs rail, bus and boat services in Oberösterreich, has put into service a 2·4 MW Vectron diesel locomotive following a naming ceremony at Eferding depot.

Built by Siemens in 2015 as part of its internal fleet, the 160 km/h locomotive was acquired from the manufacturer at the end of 2017. Stern & Hafferl required additional diesel traction to handle increasing freight traffic on the Laakirchen – Steyrermühl and Attnang-Puchheim – Wels lines, under a co-operation agreement with national freight operator Rail Cargo Group dating from 2005.

Following trials with a Traxx AC3 electric locomotive in May 2017, Stern & Hafferl has ordered one of these Bombardier-built locomotives for delivery by the end of this year. This will be fitted with a last-mile diesel engine to reduce the need for locomotive changes.