Three Czech diesel-electric locomotives of class 774.7 manufactured by CZ LOKO are to be running this year already on Finnish railway lines for the private transportation company, Fennia Rail Oy.
“The long uncertainty of the availability of railway rolling stock suited for Finnish conditions has come to an end. Our Czech partner has built locomotives for 160 years and has experience in building those for different climate conditions and track gauges. With these locomotives, we can start freight transport on the Finnish railways in 2015”, says Kimmo Rahkamo, CEO of Fennia Rail.
The first of these locomotives will be delivered in September of this year; further engines will follow at one month intervals. After delivery, the TSI certification process will be completed in Finland.
The 774.7 class locomotive will be designed and manufactured for a 1 524 mm gauge and operated in temperatures as low as -40 °C. All machines will be equipped with Finnish automatic train control (ATC) and professional mobile radio. The utilised 1 550 kW CAT 3512 C HD diesel engine fulfils the Stage IIIA European emission norms.
“CZ LOKO has extensive experience with developing and manufacturing locomotives for similar climatic conditions for the Baltic States and the Russian Federation. This project is technically based on the modernisation of CME3 locomotives for Latvia. To complete a prototype in such a short period is a challenge for the whole CZ LOKO team, but I know that we will manage it,” said Josef Barta, CZ LOKO’s Chairman and Managing Director.
The delivery date played a crucial role for Fennia Rail’s decision process and thanks to its flexibility, CZ LOKO overcame the competition within the tender.
Fennia Rail Oy plans to persuade their clients to prioritise rail transport because of environmental, security, safety, and economic efficient operation.
“The Finnish railway market is beginning to open and I believe that this is not the last contract which we will sign in Finland,” said Jan Kutalek, CZ LOKO’s Export Manager.
The complete modernising process of the locomotives will take place in the CZ LOKO plant in Ceska Trebova and will travel to Finland on rail and ferry. The locomotives will use temporary bogies for the part of the journey with 1 435 mm gauge. Final assembly will be performed in Finland.