The new 109E Emil Zátopek locomotive from the Czech manufacturer Škoda Transportation has obtained approval to be put into operation on all German railways. Approval had already been obtained before this in five other countries which are Austria, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Besides, it was just the second locomotive in the world to obtain the TSI High Speed RST certificate, necessary for the European interoperability of a HSR system.
The 109E locomotive is a three-system, high-speed machine designed for commercial operation with speeds up to 200 km/h. The complete development and manufacturing were realised in the company Škoda Transportation in Pilsen plant. High power, reliability, low consumption of energy and environmentally friendly operation are the advantages of the locomotive. “We have successfully completed a series of prescribed and demanding tests that were necessary to obtain approval for operation on German railways and the German Railway Institute EBA issued a key approval for operation to us. The whole process was very challenging and I am pleased that this Czech locomotive is one of the first HS locomotives in the world to obtain these approvals,” says Tomáš Ignačák, General Director of Škoda Transportation.
The new three-system locomotive was designed for operation on the lines of the railway corridors in all neighbouring countries of the Czech Republic and in Hungary. In these countries it will be able to travel across areas with different power supply systems. The machine therefore complies with the specific conditions of the railway lines and their power supply systems with AC voltages of 25kV/50Hz, 15kV/16.7Hz or DC voltage of 3kV.
“Particularly, the German Railway Institute EBA (Eisenbahn-Bundesamt) is absolutely uncompromising in the approval process and the technical assessment often comes down to the most minute details. Thanks to the approach of all members of the homologation team, particularly the regular staff of the company as well as external collaborators, Škoda Transportation successfully managed the whole process and I wish to sincerely thank all colleagues,“ says Petr Špalek, chief engineer for Škoda Transportation railway vehicles.
Škoda Transportation invested more than 950 mil. CZK into the development of the fastest and most powerful domestic locomotive. The locomotive includes about 30 kilometres of cables and as well as more than 10,000 electric connections; illustrating the intensity of the manufacturing of this new machine. Škoda Transportation used the most quality materials for its production, such as fibre composites, similar to the ones being used for Formula1 racing cars that significantly improve the riding qualities of the vehicle and the stress on the railway lines.
Škoda Transportation paid special attention to safety. The new locomotive therefore meets even the most stringent safety limits. This is reflected in its structure; for example the engine driver area is surrounded by crumple zones that have to absorb a large amount of energy in case of a possible collision. The fixing of a plough in the front of the locomotive is similarly designed. In case of an extreme collision with a truck type tank car with a weight of about 15 tons at the speed of 110 km/h, the area around the engine driver remains undamaged and undeformed. Thanks to its resistance, the locomotive can be repaired relatively simply. Within the scope of the tests the locomotive also successfully passed the fire prevention tests. Fire detectors and effective active fire extinguishing devices are installed on the machine. The partition between the cabin and machine room withstood fire for a period of 15 minutes.
Through the 109E locomotive, the company continues in the long-standing tradition of the production of electric locomotives and has launched more than 5,500 machines on the market. The beginnings of the production of modern electric locomotives can be found in the year 1928 when Škoda developed the 1Elo locomotive operated by Czech Railways.
Photo & Source : Skoda Press Center