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6 May 2022

On April 28, 2022, a prototype of the new DE 18 Stage V Smart Hybrid BFLux(D) locomotive by Vossloh Locomotives performed a test run on the challenging hills of the Ardennes in Belgium.

The test took place on Line 166 between Namur and Athus, in the Belgian Ardennes, a region infamous for its hills and high inclinations. The test configuration consisted of the DE 18 (1800 KW, 80t, 17m long), 15 loaded wagons (80t each) and a back-up locomotive (87t).

The train departed from Ronet, near Namur, and came to a halt near Bertrix (PK 32.000) uphill with an inclination of 12‰. From standstill, it then departed further uphill towards the Viaduc de Thanville with a 13,1‰ inclination.

As expected, the DE18 Smart Hybrid had no trouble at all taking the 1300 tons of weight uphill. For the powerful MTU engine and the advanced single-axle tractive control system, even rainy conditions would have posed no problem.

The DE18 Smart Hybrid raises the bar for 4-axle non-electric locomotives. In many cases, a single DE18 will be able to replace double-traction operation. It offers high performance with fuel savings of 15-50% depending on the use case.  Its Stage V engine saves 80-95% on the exhaust of pollutants like NOx, CO, and small particulate matter. Importantly, it is ready for CO2-reducing fuels such as HVO and, therefore, can save up to 90% in CO2 emissions.

Nexrail Lease has ordered up to 50 DE18 Stage V smart Hybrid BF Lux (D) Locomotives. Deliveries will start as of 2023.

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