DB Cargo and Toshiba partner to develop hybrid locomotives


DB Cargo, the rail freight division of German Rail, has entered into a technology partnership with Japan’s rail vehicle technology supplier Toshiba, for the joint development of hybrid locomotives.

The agreement also involves the subsequent purchase of an initial 100 new hybrid locomotives by DB Cargo.

The vehicles will be used in regional transport operations. Initial test vehicles are expected to be available by the end of 2019.

"We as the largest rail freight operator in Europe, can pave the way for Toshiba to enter the European market."

DB Cargo management board chairman Jürgen Wilder said: “The objective is to promote the development of the supplier market for freight locomotives and components in cooperation with Toshiba.

“This will provide DB Cargo with access to sunrise technologies that are not currently available in this form in our home market.

"In return, we as the largest rail freight operator in Europe, can pave the way for Toshiba to enter the European market.”

RailPool, which leads a partner consortium, will take over DB Cargo’s older Class 151 and 155 freight locomotives into an asset pool to make use of these resources in the form of a capacity leasing model.

Toshiba is also a member of the consortium.

Comprising 200 locomotives, the asset pool will give DB Cargo the chance to lease locomotive capacities in line with changing demand.

DB Cargo has opted for hybrid technology at an early stage to cover its replacement requirements and also to accumulate its own expertise in maintenance and repair.

The company seeks to overcome obstacles such as insufficient experience of European rail operations and the complicated approval procedures in partnership with Toshiba and make the European market a better proposition for rail vehicle technology going forward.