Strukton increases sustainability of locomotive fleet
24 April 2020
A new investment in electric locomotives. We have purchased three 1700 series electric locomotives and two control cars from NS and transporting them today. The locomotives will be used to provide the pull power for railway renovations and maintenance work.
Strukton acquired its first electric locomotive in May of last year. Following a thorough overhaul, it was christened Loc Nicole. Today, Loc Nicole is regularly being used for transporting machinery and infrastructural materials in support of work performed on the tracks.
The motivation for purchasing the three 1700 series locomotives is that two diesel locomotives from the Netherlands will be deployed to Italy. CLF, Strukton Rail’s Italian railway company, will use the locomotives there for railway work. Increasingly making use of electric transportation is consistent with Strukton’s sustainability goals. An electric work locomotive is good for the climate and healthier for employees. The overhead line electricity comes from wind energy, making it 100% green. Furthermore, an electric locomotive does not emit any CO2 or particulate matter.
From overhead line to battery
Strukton’s aim is to equip Loc Nicole, as well as the newly acquired locomotives, with batteries, so that the locomotives can drive independently without overhead lines. Work planning for converting Loc Nicole is currently underway. Strukton is making use of its own in-house knowledge for converting the locomotives to battery-powered trains. Strukton Rolling Stock, specialist in power electronics in rail-bound vehicles, is working with several parties on developing battery and hydrogen trains. For example, it is developing the power electronics for the British operator Vivarail, which is converting diesel trains to hydrogen and battery trains for Britain’s non-electrified railway lines.
Strukton is the first railway contractor to make its locomotive fleet sustainable this way. A locomotive used for railway maintenance and renovation requires significant pulling power. In turn, this requires significant traction. Aad Onderwater, Business Manager Logistics with Strukton Rail Nederland, explains:
‘We are sector frontrunners with this innovation and that is really quite challenging. But we believe in sustainability and in this solution, so we are pressing ahead with it.’
The newly acquired locomotives are in good condition. The locomotives will be given a major overhaul at Strukton’s workshop in Zutphen (NL) and will be extensively tested. In addition, extra facilities will be added, such as GPS. The locomotives will be officially christened after stickering. Strukton is keeping the names secret for the time being.