By 2026, French manufacturer Alstom will deliver up to 50 electric locomotives to Belgium's national rail company, SNCB, the company said in a press conference on Tuesday.
A framework has been agreed to deliver up to 50 third-generation Traxx locomotives for use on passenger lines with 24 already on order: "The first firm order, estimated at around €120 million, covers the design, manufacture and certification of 24 locomotives", Belga News Agency reported.
The trains will facilitate both domestic and cross-border journeys on electric networks in Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany, including on a number of high-speed lines, said Alstom. They are equipped with the European Train Control System (ETCS) signalling system, as well as the traditional signalling systems required (TBL1+ in Belgium).
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Around 280 Traxx locomotives are already in commercial service in the Benelux region. This model, "with a speed of 200 km/h, offers more flexibility and meets the latest requirements of TSI safety standards. The new locomotives have a higher energy efficiency and maintenance intervals that are 33% longer."
The shift to greener transportation
A transition to more sustainable modes of transport, such as electric railway systems, has been increasing across Europe for some time. A study released by the European Commission shows that "60% of the European rail network is already electrified and 80% of traffic is running on these lines."
Climate change was recently named as the top challenge the EU currently faces, and electric railways will help to reduce carbon emissions.
The new Traxx locomotives were designed at Alstom's site in Mannheim and manufactured in Kassel. Another Alstom site in Charleroi will supply the national signalling systems for the four countries as well as the ETCS level two systems.