04 December 2019
Maasvlakte 2 at the Port of Rotterdam can count itself well off with an ultra-modern workshop for the maintenance of electric locomotives: the Locomotive Workshop Rotterdam (LWR). The workshop has been constructed in record time.
Thanks to the cooperation between customers Siemens Mobility B.V. and Mitsui Rail Capital Europe GmbH, and as contractor various sub-companies and disciplines within Strukton and the Antea Group, it only took two years to get from the business plan to a functioning workshop. The cooperation of ProRail and the Port of Rotterdam Authority, including the making available of the site at Maasvlakte 2 and the connection to the existing railway network, was also of great importance to the rapid realisation.
With the opening of the LWR on 26 November 2019, the Port of Rotterdam possesses a unique test facility for all the railway network voltages that arise in Europe. The workshop is part of a European network of maintenance workshops. As the largest seaport in Europe, Rotterdam is the logistical gateway to the European railway network. The arrival of the LWR makes it more attractive for operators of freight train services to transport more goods by rail from and to the Rotterdam port.
The LWR is a joint venture between locomotive manufacturer Siemens Mobility B.V. and train leasing company Mitsui Rail Capital Europe (MRCE). The workshop for preventive and corrective maintenance, inspections and updates – usually within a timescale of a single day – features eight sidings and six working tracks, and is connected to the railway network via a set of points on the main line. Engines enter and leave the site on two parallel tracks. On arrival, they are put on to the right track using a movable bridge. Before they enter the workshop, the locomotives are cleaned in a washing facility. In the wheel lathe pit, the wheels of high-speed locomotives can be re-profiled accurate to tenths of a millimetre.
Unique to a European locomotive workshop and a technical tour de force are the test tracks where all the railway network voltages that arise in Europe can be supplied. By this means, LWR can focus on the increasing demand for maintenance of technically complex cross-border locomotives. The locomotive workshop is available for all types of electric locomotive.
The Port of Rotterdam is the start and end point of over 250 international railway transports every week. LWR’s location makes long-term displacement of locomotives unnecessary, saving time and money. During the design and construction of the workshop, account was taken of future expansions of the railway network around the site. This makes future expansion of capacity and facilities easily possible. To minimise the CO2 footprint, solar panels were installed on the roof of the workshop, and these supply half of the energy demand.