On 22 January, Rail Cargo Hungaria celebrated the ten-year anniversary of its own traction capacity. At the time the privatised MÁV Cargo had no own traction services, the necessary capacity for rail freight transport could then be acquired primarily from MÁV-TRAKCIÓ. The new owner, Rail Cargo Austria AG started with the development of the own traction capacity. In 2010, as part of the privatisation obligation, the company’s fleet was established with ten Taurus electric locomotives, which corresponded to the strictest technical and environmental regulations in Europe. The first train with an own locomotive, own locomotive driver and 35 waggons started its journey in January 2010 to Miskolc-Rendező.
„Establishing our own traction capacity in 2010 was a significant step towards strengthening our market-leading position in the Hungarian rail freight sector. Continuous development of our capacity is strategically important in order to secure the long-term stability of our operation” – highlighted dr. Imre Kovács, Chairman of the Board of Rail Cargo Hungaria and Member of the Board of Rail Cargo Austria.
Own traction capacity increases
Already in the first year, the mileage of the company exceeded 3.2 million kilometres. The extension of the machine park went hand in hand with the growth of the distance completed with own traction – in 2014 it was over 4 million kilometres. In 2019 the mileage of the own locomotive fleet of Rail Cargo Hungaria reached 5,600,000 kilometres – this number is higher than ever before. It is 18% higher than a year ago and more than 170% higher than the amount determined ten years ago when the own traction capacity was established. The locomotive fleet of the company comprises ca. 45 modern and eco-friendly traction vehicles.
Own locomotive driver capacity
10 years ago altogether 138 locomotive drivers worked for the company, however this number increased by 100 employees until 2020. In order to be able to fulfil the growing need, RCG regularly holds locomotive driver trainings since 2016. In April, expectedly 27 trainees will complete the course.
In 2020, 5 new electric locomotives from the modern fleet of ÖBB will extend the RCH wagon park. This capacity extension enables the company to fulfil more than 60% of its transports with its own equipment. The latest Vectron electric locomotives will complement the RCH-fleet, which compared to the Taurus locomotives, are able to transport trains with a heavier overall weight. These will first be applied for grain transports.
This year, Rail Cargo Hungaria extends its services with the establishment of a diesel machine park. According to plans, the locomotives will be used for shunting activities in the Rail Cargo Terminal - BILK and in the Budapest area.
Innovative, eco-friendly traction
All vehicles of the RCH-fleet redirect energy into the power supply system. A locomotive conveying a freight train of 2,000 tons with a speed of 100 km/h, produces in the course of braking an amount of electricity, that matches the monthly consumption of an average Hungarian household (214 kWh).
In the rail freight sector, Rail Cargo Hungaria will be the first using economic e-hybrid locomotives with zero emission. The company ordered the development and production of such machines from the world’s biggest rolling stock manufacturer company in the world, the Chinese CRRC – this year the prototype will first be presented in Germany on the Innotrans fair. Within two and a half years, two shunting and two high-power locomotives optimized for the freight activity will be produced.
Compared to the current latest solutions, the e-hybrid vehicles can be applied more effectively and flexibly. If on a given route, due to construction works or breakdowns, no contact wire is available, the electric locomotives need to be replaced by diesel locs, which costs the railway company time and money. The new technology provides a cost-effective solution in these cases and for connecting railways with no contact wire as well.
With the shunters, RCH will fulfil tasks in Hungary, and the locomotives will be used outside of Hungary in Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria.