The e-hybrid locomotive developed for Rail Cargo Hungaria arrived in Budapest

The first e-hybrid shunting locomotive developed for Rail Cargo Hungaria (RCH) has arrived in Hungary. It was developed by CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co. Ltd., the subsidiary of the world’s largest railway vehicle manufacturer, CRRC Group, optimised to the logistics tasks of RCH according to the company’s specifications.

In the following months the vehicle, which represents a unique technology in its kind in Europe, will be subject to tests required for the authorisation and use in Hungary.

The market-leading rail freight company ordered the locomotive in order to meet the shunting needs of single wagon transport service, which is provided nationwide in Hungary only by RCH. This service is the most costly railway activity, during which the wagons of a freight train are assembled or disassembled at the shunting stations. For this task, RCH mostly utilises diesel locomotives ordered from MÁV-START. As the services provided by MÁV-START are decreasing, it is strategically important for RCH to strengthen its own shunting capacity. Due to this, and in order to enhance cost-effectiveness and sustainability, the company ordered the technological development and manufacturing of the locomotive back in 2019. After the authorisation process is completed, RCH will lease the finished machine under favourable financial conditions, including maintenance.

The locomotive manufactured in the Southeast of China, in Hunan province weighs 74 tonnes, and its technology is electric-electric hybrid, which is also unique in the electrical market. The vehicle uses a lithium-titanate battery for shunting operations. Due to its high-capacity energy storing technology, it charges the battery on routes, where overhead lines are available, hence enhancing the vehicle’s efficiency. Its traction capacity in overhead line-mode is 850 kW and when using the battery 350 kW. The e-hybrid shunting locomotive of RCH can tow a train of 800-tonnes without an overhead line for 85 minutes at a speed of 20 km/h (the marshalling activity is carried out at a similar pace).

After obtaining the licenses, the vehicle will fulfil tasks in Hungary mostly on shunting stations and industrial sidings. In Hungary there is no overhead line above the industrial sidings and the loading tracks, therefore, railway companies are currently performing the shunting activities with costly and polluting diesel machines.

The new shunting locomotive will commence its operation in the second half of 2022.