CFL cargo strengthens its international traction capabilities

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First CFL cargo locomotives equipped with a “multi-system” feature Germany-LuxembourgPoland are circulating across Europe. This innovation encourages the modal shift from road to rail.

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15/03/2024 |
  • CFL cargo TRAXX MS3 (4)

CFL cargo SA, European railway undertaking, homologates first Germany-Luxembourg-Poland multi-system locomotives, effectively facilitating international rail traffics and thus further promoting the shift from road transport to the much more sustainable rail transport mode.

In their final configuration, CFL cargo’s new locomotives are unique: They will be the very first locomotives capable in Europe of international traffics on the North-South and West-East axis, thanks to their multi-system feature. While the European Union Agency for Railways urges that a well-established cross-border railway system is the foundation of European transnational mobility, the agency also admits that the lack of interoperability of the rail network constitutes arguably one of the biggest barriers to accomplishing better connectivity [1] . This impediment significantly inhibits the shift from road to rail which would put us, collectively, closer to our goals in reducing freight transport’s carbon footprint. In an effort to provide a short-term, tangible solution to this larger problem at hand, CFL cargo worked closely with Alstom to homologate a locomotive which will be able to bridge the gap between different national rail infrastructures.

The locomotives are, for now, homologated for Luxembourg, Germany and Poland, with deployment plans to France, Austria and Belgium in the near future. CFL cargo plans to integrate these new locomotives in a strategy which aims to combine and optimize the group’s resources by running both intermodal and conventional trains on its corridors. In addition, equipped with hybrid technology, these new locomotives will also make it possible to operate the first and last mile on non-electrified sections. With the Traxx MS3, CFL cargo aims to strengthen the robustness and performance of its trains. The homogenisation of the locomotive fleet will also make it possible to gain in flexibility and therefore in the quality of services.

Part of the solution

“We are proud to be the first to drive these multi-system locomotives in this configuration, an achievement showcasing CFL cargo’s dedication to innovation. That’s how we improve tomorrow’s supply chain, ensuring high quality, reliability and the safety of our services. We are playing a part in making rail more efficient which correlates with our mission to promote the modal shift from road to rail.” Sébastien Hoffmann, CEO CFL cargo SA.

“One of our biggest competitive advantages is the quality of service we provide by combining our conventional services with our intermodal services, which in turn makes us a strong cross-border operator. With our new Traxx MS3 locomotives, routes such as Pozna?-Bettembourg will benefit greatly: where we had to switch out locomotives in the past, we will now deploy only one engine for the same distance which will increase reliability. This is an additional argument to promote the modal shift from road to rail among road transport companies and logistic service providers.” Max Solvi, COO International, CFL cargo SA.

[1] European Union Agency for Railways (November, 2022), Report Cross-border Rail Transport Potential; source: https://www.era.europa.eu/system/files/2022- 12/20225455_PDFA2A_TR0522377ENA_002.pdf

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