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Ad 1: I think the problem is rather that all the locos with last-mile diesels don't yet have a certification (Bombardier's being part of the new TRAXX 3 product platform). Siemens' last-mile-equipped Vectron will probably be the first one to get certification. Certification matters: from what I can find, the entire Vectron product platform didn't get more than two orders for altogether eight units so far.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 04:07:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I should add I have a bit more info on this: on one of the Bombardier locos, I overheard a discussion in which they told the TRAXX 3 certification is on hold until they are done with the four-engine diesel TRAXX (they really don't want to get delayed with this big order for DB). Vectron certification trials are on-going full-throttle, however (though they modified some parts during the process), that's why I say they should be the first to be able to offer a service-ready last-mile version to customers.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Oct 3rd, 2012 at 02:32:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think certification is a problem. Both multi-engine and Last Mile Traxxes were sold before they've got any certificates. About Vectron - I think private operators suffer from the crisis, in last year (or two) there were not many orders for brand new locomotives at all.

I just think last mile locos won't be as popular as producers would like them to be. They're not strong enough to operate on non electrified lines, moderately useful for shunting (I think Traxx Last Mile's 240kW isn't much, plus most stations have proper shunting locos), more expensive to buy and operate (inspections/repairs).

by ko on Fri Oct 5th, 2012 at 10:36:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
IMHO the orders for the multi-engine and last-mile diesel TRAXXes were quite different. The first was a classic major order from a former state railway after a procurement competition, in which Bombardier took up the financial risks of any delays and product problems. The launch customer for the last-mile diesel TRAXX 3 is a leasing company, which doesn't have any fixed plans to operate the locos (which would be delayed by certification problems and connected delivery problems) and whose risk in using a new development is reduced by the possibility to lease to different customers (if the first or second customer doesn't find it practical).

I agree that the power of the first last-mile diesels is low, certainly not enough for line operation, thus a true success of the idea won't be possible before 500 kW units can be installed. However, using shunters at stations is not for free, it costs time and money, money which includes the maintenance of those shunters. With the last-mile diesel, you spare the investment and maintenance cost of a second set of transmission/converter, running gear and vehicle body.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Oct 6th, 2012 at 02:46:35 AM EST
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