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Eastern European operators: zero EU support for diesel is a mistake

26 March 2024
Reading time ~ 1 min
The overhauled M62 mainline locomotive in Cargounit's livery in Poland
The overhauled M62 mainline locomotive in Cargounit's livery in Poland. Source: Rawitj/railgallary
Krechetov Dmitry, Editorial Contributor
Reading time ~ 1 min
Savenkova Ekaterina, Editorial Contributor to International Projects of ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Poland: This is the opinion of participants of the European Rolling Stock Forum held in Warsaw on 13 March, according to the Rynek Kolejowy.

They claim that there is a compelling need for new mainline and shunting diesel locomotives, while hydrogen or battery traction is a technically and economically unacceptable alternative.

Lukasz Boron, CEO of Cargounit, Poland, said that Polish manufacturers are producing only electric locomotives, even though railway lines are being electrified very slowly. In the absence of modern diesel locomotives, operators have to overhaul the M62 diesel locomotives produced by the Lugansk Locomotive Works in the 1970s and 1980s. He stressed that the purchase of new mainline diesel locomotives should be financed from EU funds.

The idea of changing EU policy in this area has been backed by the president of Romania’s railway reform authority, ARF, Stefan Roseanu.

Szabolcs Pumb, spokesman for Hungarian national operator MAV-Start, emphasised the need for new diesel trains as passenger traffic on non-electrified lines grows. “Hydrogen is out of the question for now, and battery-powered trains are more expensive than electric ones”, Rynek Kolejowy quoted him as saying. At the same time, MAV-Start requested quotations for hydrogen trains from Alstom, Stadler and Siemens Mobility in April last year, but the story did not develop further.

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