#StadlerEngineers Pt.4 – The powerhouse for freight transport

In our #StadlerEngineers series, we regularly present stories from our engineering teams. This is especially to mark UNESCO World Engineering Day, which took place for the fifth time this year on 4 March.

As already mentioned in our last post, building trains is an extremely technical challenge. One of the greatest difficulties faced by the engineering teams at Stadler is to design rail vehicles for use all over the world that have to contend with a wide variety of rail networks and weather conditions.  How can this be made possible? That is the subject of the latest blog post in our series, which takes us to our location in Spain – the EURO9000 locomotive developed there is not only a versatile chameleon, but also a powerhouse for freight transport with record potential!

Challenges posed by different rail networks

The unique nature of European railway systems represents a major challenge for trains and locomotives used worldwide. The frequent lack of common technical specifications for connecting different systems further complicates their use. In addition, differences in the planning, construction, commissioning, refitting, replacement, operation and maintenance of trains and locomotives repeatedly lead to difficulties. While the European Union Agency for Railways (ERA) is trying to promote and monitor cross-border rail transport, there remains one particularly complex issue – the rails themselves. As different types of drive are prevalent in the various countries, the European networks are hardly ever electrified across borders. That is why trains that can operate in multiple countries are a rarity.

Spanish engineering for European freight transport

At Stadler, we recognised the above-mentioned challenges posed by European rail networks, combined with the requirements of the European Union to load more freight traffic onto the railways, not only as a problem, but also as an incentive for one of our most innovative developments – the EURO9000. The freight locomotive with the distinctive six axles was built in Valencia in 2019 and is tailor-made for European freight traffic. The modular, adaptive design is an exceptional achievement. Ricky Albelda, Vehicle Development Manager of the EURO9000, stresses that the design of the multiple unit enables it to work with three different drive systems, depending on the customer’s specifications and the characteristics of the area of use. The EURO9000 can run on a traditional diesel engine, but it can also use the network of overhead contact lines or its own batteries, making it a true chameleon in the European rail jungle, and justifiably so.

More environmental protection thanks to goods trains

Besides its versatility, the multiple unit also boasts a number of clever technical details. With its six axles, the EURO9000 has the ability to transport almost double the load of a train with the usual four axles, regardless of speed. In electric mode, it is also significantly more environmentally friendly. Nevertheless, its greatest advantage remains its tractive force. A much more obvious benefit in terms of environmental friendliness is that a train that is twice as strong can also move twice as many goods whilst consuming about half the energy of two trains. That’s why there is only one question left to ask – why use two locomotives when a single Stadler locomotive can do the same job?