Dream of bringing a full train with one loco upto Kapikule came true. Bombardier’s Traxx AC Last Mile locomotive completed the 4000 km test run pulling Rail Cargo Group’s container trains from Sopron to Kapikule and from Kapikule to Sopron in recent weeks.
The route has mainly two difficulties for a one-loco-transport:
First difficulty is Carpathian Mountains in Romania. The second longest mountain range of Europe is an important barrier for trains from Europe to Turkey. Trains with 1200 brut to requires additional locomotive to cross that part in Romania.
Second difficulty is the non-electrified section in Bulgaria. The stretch is crossing Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria until Dimitrovgrad which is completely electrified. But the section between Dimitrovgrad and Svilengrad, it’s not electrified yet. Bulgarian Railways has already been doing a project to electrify that 85 km section. Thus, an electric locomotive doing the whole traction from Europe must normally be replaced by a diesel locomotive at Dimitrovgrad for traction till Kapikule.
Bombardier’s Traxx AC Last Mile locomotive was able to overcome both of these difficulties. The 1343 brut to train crossed the Carpathian Mountains without any additional loco. And Traxx’s “Last Mile” feature, a combination of an auxiliary diesel engine and battery, enabling the locomotive to operate at full power for up to eight hours was proved two times until Kapikule. One during a electrical failure and second through the non-electrified section in Bulgaria.
The train, which departed from Sopron on 8th of November and arrived to Bulgaria on 10th of November. The test was regularly announced via Twitter account @BombardierRail.
Since only TCDD locos can run in Turkey, the stretch between Kapikule and Tekirdag was symbolic rather than a traction test. With temporary permit, the loco was able to reach to Tekirdag being pulled by a TCDD loco.
Traxx loco then crossed back the Turkish-Bulgarian border on 15th of November pulling a container train of RCG. The train’s return journey ended on 18th of November Tuesday in Sopron, Hungary.
Photo: Cosmin Stefan ©