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CRRC’s hybrid shunter locomotive arrives in Hungary

17 June 2022
Reading time ~ 3 min
CRRC Сlass 461 shunting hybrid locomotive in Hungary
Сlass 461 shunting hybrid locomotive by CRRC in Hungary. Source: Attila Wörös
Litvintsova Olga, Editor of International Projects, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency
Reading time ~ 3 min
Stolchnev Alexey, Russian Projects Editor, ROLLINGSTOCK Agency

Hungary: Class 461 locomotive arrived in Dunakeszi from Velim, Czech Republic, where it has been undergoing certification tests since September last year. In Hungary, in the coming months, it will have to pass a new series of trials necessary for operation approval in the country from the second half of 2022.

The rolling stock was produced for Rail Cargo Hungaria freight operator (RCH, part OBB) at the CRRC plant in Zhuzhou. In total, under the contract signed in 2019, the operator is to receive 4 hybrid locomotives: 2 shunters and 2 mainline ones. This year, one locomotive of each type should be put into operation. At the same time, CRRC fully assumes the costs of machines manufacturing. A Chinese manufacturer signed a 4-year lease agreement with RCH for locomotives and their maintenance. There is also an option that in the absence of complaints about the locomotives’ operation RCH may extend the lease for a longer period or purchase them with an option for 20 units of each type. It is assumed that shunting locomotives will be used in Hungary, while mainline locomotives will be operated in Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria.

The hybrid drive in the locomotive provides two modes of traction: from the catenary (the power will be 850 kW in this mode) and from lithium-titanate (LTO) batteries with a total capacity of 350 kW, which are charged both from the network and through recuperation. The time for charging batteries from the contact network should be 2.5 hours. It is stated that in battery mode, the vehicle is capable of hauling a train weighing 800 t at a speed of 20 km/h for 85 minutes. It is claimed that the locomotive in this mode will be able to pull the average composition on a flat track for a distance of up to 10 km, which in most cases is sufficient for shunting work at loading stations.

Alongside with the shunting hybrid locomotive, a CRRC mainline electric locomotive called Bison, which was also ordered by RCH in 2019, was tested in Velim last year. The 5.6 MW vehicle has a traction force of 300 kN and can reach a maximum operating speed of 140 km/h. Also, the locomotive is equipped with supercapacitors that can be charged from the contact network. They provide up to 10 km of autonomous range for last mile operation. Last week, the Bison locomotive was sent to the German company RailAdventure, which is to conduct final testing of the locomotive and then deliver it to the customer.