26 February 2018

Tests on the TRAXX locomotive for Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation commissions Eurailtest to carry out compatibility tests on its TRAXX locomotive

Bombardier Transportation, one the world’s leading rail technology sector manufacturers, recently contacted Eurailtest over the Italian version of its TRAXX (DC) locomotive.  To haul freight trains between France and Italy, these locomotives needed permission from the French Safety Authority (EPSF – Etablissement Public de Sécurité Ferroviaire) to be worked through to Modane, a station located on the French side of the border.

In practice, since the locomotives only required approval for operation over a highly circumscribed area rather than the whole French rail network (RFN), Bombardier Transportation opted for a strategic approach involving the use of existing safety case data for the French and Italian versions of the TRAXX locomotive, backed by expert opinions and additional tests to cater to the specificities of train movements in Modane, where operating conditions are not the same as those in Italy.

More particularly, Eurailtest was called in by Bombardier Transportation over railway signalling equipment compatibility tests: drop shunt capability and compatibility with electronic wheel detectors.
Experts from Eurailtest, the I&P-ME  Department and SNCF Réseau joined forces in drawing up the corresponding test campaign.
SNCF Réseau experts were responsible for producing a bespoke scaled-down test protocol to cover operating conditions in Modane station.
Together with the Railway Test Agency (AEF), Eurailtest coordinated the work of the local SNCF Réseau teams in charge of traffic movements (EIC and Infrapôle) to ensure test run safety.

Tests were completed according to plan and their results served to complete Bombardier Transportation’s safety case application.
This latter is currently being examined and should shortly culminate in authorisation to work TRAXX DC locomotives in revenue service for hauling trains over the Franco-Italian border.