A Siemens Vectron locomotive has completed a series of trial runs through the Channel Tunnel, as the operator continues to look to simplify rail freight between Europe and the UK.
The Vectron loco, in standard configuration and hauling wagons with a total weight of 1,350 tonnes, entered the tunnel via the French portal at 22.42 and completed a series of traction, braking and pantograph tests.
Equipped with four axles – compared to the six of the Class 92, which is currently used in the tunnel – the Vectron exited at Folkestone before setting back to France for a second phase of tests.
Until now, Class 92 locomotives, which are not approved to run on the French RFF network, have operated exclusively through the tunnel, but in July 2012, Eurotunnel obtained agreement that Technical Specifications for Interoperability should be applied to freight trains travelling through the tunnel to allow for open access.
Michel Boudoussier, deputy chief executive officer of Groupe Eurotunnel, said: “The approval of new rolling stock is the vital counterpart to the open access model put in place by Eurotunnel.
“I am delighted that our cooperation with Siemens will open the way to new international rail freight flows, which will in turn, significantly reduce C0² emissions.”
Similar tests have already been carried out on other locomotive models.
- Previous story HS2: Phase 2 route map
- Next story Gallery: Edinburgh Tram releases latest construction images