Re: SBB Cargo locos

Ewan Tait

On 25 Jul 2019, at 00:30, gordonwis via Groups.Io <> wrote:

Hi Mike,

As I understand it Re10/10 still take over some trans-European freight trains at Muttenz from other traction, and potentially then give way at Bellinzona to, say, a 474 - these would be the main Re6/6 and Re4/4 under direct threat from new Vectrons, as Re's get replaced by locos that can haul a pan European train from eg Zeebrugge - Milano. Even a die hard enthusiast can perhaps see the 'finance department's' point in this instance - a single 'unit' (be it a single loco or a pair) can replace three separate units.
Replacing the NL/D, CH and I locos with a single NL/D/CH/I loco won’t necessarily save you three locos. The NL/D loco would not wait for the train to go all the way to Milan and back before its next working; it would pick up a northbound train at Basel SBB RB shortly after arriving. That’s not to say that there isn’t a saving, as clearly there is. Using a single multi-system loco removes the need for loco-changes at Basel SBB and Chiasso/Bellinzona/Domo, reducing journey times, reducing the staff resource and make the loco usage more efficient.

One thing that I noted in 2017, the summer after the GBT opened, was that SBBC Int trains via Luino that I saw on the Gotthard route were often hauled by a single Re 474 south of Basel, whereas previously the Re 474 would have been unlikely to work north of Bellinzona due to the need for two of them. With the opening of the Ceneri Base Tunnel, then there won’t be any requirement to double-head on the Gotthard axis. Does anyone know what currently happens with SBBC Int trains via Chiasso? Are they using single Vectrons over the Ceneri? Do they have Vectrons in Ticino that are used to double-head the trains over the mountain? Are they swapping to Re 10/10s at Bellinzona? Do they double-head Vectrons all the way from Basel to Chiasso?

It’s also worth noting that SBBC Int trains via the Lötschberg are normally double-headed south of Basel (I’m not sure if the second loco comes off at Brig or Domo), presumably to allow for the fact that the train may go via the Lötschberg Summit Tunnel. BLS on the other hand have plenty of locos on hand at Spiez and Brig so that they can easily add a second loco if the train has to go over the top.

With the CBT opening, will there be more capacity on the Gotthard axis, or are there still constraints in Italy that will limit the number of trains? With no need for double-heading on the Gotthard axis, it will be a far more attractive route until the Lötschberg Base Tunnel is completed.


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