Endurance test with Hector Rail

Hector Rail relies on ES64F4-type locomotives equipped with ADDs. They transport freight to the major railway junctions in Sweden (Hallsberg) and Germany (Maschen), where the cars connect with the transport systems of national railway operators and other block trains and continue on to destinations throughout Europe. Along the way, they’re subjected to critical route conditions, extreme climates, and maximum hauled loads.

Background

The Swedish railway operator Hector Rail was founded in 2004 and has quickly established itself as a qualified traction provider for freight service. One of Hector Rail’s main customers is ScandFibre Logistics AB, a company that develops and provides transport and logistics services for the Swedish timber industry. Their primary activity is the operation and ongoing development of their own railway systems Rail 99 and Rail 07. Hector Rail is part of ScandFibre Logistics’ Rail 99 transport program.

ES64F4 high-performance locomotives

In November 2005, Hector Rail purchased two ES64F4-type high-performance electric locomotives from the Siemens Eurosprinter family. The locomotives began operation in May 2006 as HR441 class. Soon they were being used on the Piteå-Hallsberg line where, until recently, they were hauling block trains consisting of Transwaggon Habbins-type four-axle cars loaded with paper weighing up to 2,000 tons.

Operating conditions

One of the most important transport routes in the Rail 99 system is the Piteå-Hallsberg line. Most of this 1,200 kilometer section is single-track with gradients of up to 17 percent. It includes curve radii as small as 400 meters and extreme climate conditions involving large amounts of snow and temperatures as low as -35°C. Critical route conditions combined with hauled loads of up to 2,000 tons pose a huge challenge for rolling stock. The ES64F4 locomotives traversed this section daily, pulling maximum hauled loads – the most extreme test of endurance for locomotives.

The ADD passes the test

Operating experience to date has shown that these locomotives can reliably cope with the difficult operating conditions. Since Hector Rail began using the ES64F4 locomotive to haul ScandFibre Logistics’ block train, they have been employing heavier trains with hauled loads of up to 2,000 tons (instead of the previous upper limit of 1,600 tons). On these runs, the locomotives achieved an annual mileage of 300,000 kilometers, breaking all records for freight-train locomotives. The result: The ADD has proven itself under the most adverse environmental conditions.

09/30/2011 | Author: Name