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Rail Stories

TRAXX locomotive keeps essential supplies moving during global pandemic 

Global crisis highlights the versatile and reliable TRAXX  locomotive platform’s contribution to Europe's rail freight transport capacity 

The COVID-19 virus has taken over headlines and the world’s attention. One of the major challenges now facing governments and agencies is how to meet people's daily needs and keep essential goods and supplies moving in a time of strict border controls. Bombardier’s products are rising to the challenge, as this difficult environment highlights the versatility and reliability of our TRAXX locomotive platform, and its importance to Europe's rail freight transport capacity.

According to the German rail industry association Pro-Rail Alliance (Allianz pro Schiene), a single EU-standard 104-container freight train has the same transport capacity of 50 standard trailer trucks. 

"In times of crisis, the rail sector can and must be the backbone of a reliable essential service."
Michael Fohrer, Head of Bombardier Transportation, Germany

2,000 tonnes of luggage: never one to pack light for a trip, here a TRAXX AC locomotive on the test ring in Velim. It's just one of the thousands that are helping Europe respond to increasing freight transport demand.

Today, the nearly 2,000 TRAXX locomotives currently in operation account for about 50 per cent of the modern electric locomotives in Europe.

"In addition to important raw materials, freight rail also transports food and essential medical products," says a charter issued on March 26 by many rail transport associations, including those operating throughout Europe.

Vital industries like energy, chemicals, and emergency services as well as seaports, all depend on rail freight  transport's capacity to bundle and efficiently move the goods they need to do their jobs.

Reducing the spread of COVID-19

In the context of the global COVID-19 pandemic, locomotive transport offers the added advantage of being less-affected by quarantines and anti-entry regulations.  Instead of 50 trucks and 50 truck drivers crossing a border, a single TRAXX locomotive driver hands over the shipment to his colleague at the border, limiting person-to-person contact while reducing the strain on road and border infrastructure and personnel.

Another way our TRAXX locomotive platform is helping prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus is with its innovative Last Mile function. This feature supports electric locomotives with an auxiliary diesel engine that enables operators to move trains from track to non-electrified areaswithout switching to shunting locomotives, cutting down on opportunities for the virus to spread within the rail industry.

A TRAXX AC locomotive moving into a non-electrified area with support from its Last Mile function.

Fast facts: Europe’s TRAXX locomotives

200 million tonnes hauled a year

2,000 TRAXX locomotives in European service

300 million combined km a year

Maintenance for a stable supply of essentials

Our expert Services Teams continue to maintain Europe's TRAXX locomotives during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Reliability is never more important than during a crisis. That’s why a key  
portion of our TRAXX Services Teams are remaining on duty to help keep Europe’s TRAXX locomotives rolling. It's another reason why locomotives like our TRAXX products are an essential part of the larger rail machine that keeps the goods and services we rely on moving each day - and not just during crises.



Main title image photo: Thies Raetzke, Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA)