US-based rail manufacturer Harsco Rail has signed a seven-year framework agreement for the supply of up to 56 catenary maintenance vehicles worth €250m ($276m) to infrastructure manager DB Netz.

Under the agreement, 16 vehicles will be delivered from 2022, while seven more are expected two years later.

Harsco Rail president Jeswant Gill said: “Harsco Rail has significantly invested in Europe to develop market-leading technologies with superior execution capability and to establish a robust supply chain to offer the most innovative Utility Track Vehicles in the market today.

“We appreciate Deutsche Bahn’s confidence in Harsco Rail as a trusted partner to provide state-of-the-art vehicles and are excited about the opportunity to further our growth ambitions.”

This suppression and maintenance vehicles, which run at the speed of 140km/h, can be operated electrically.

Equipped with a hybrid drive and electrical energy storage facility, the trains can run for up to two hours without further power supply in working mode.

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The vehicles come with an improved noise emission indoors and outdoors and reduce noise pollution for nearby residents.

Furthermore, the trains will feature a European train control system (ETCS).

The new agreement is part of DB’s initiative to cut down energy consumption of its vehicles. It is replacing locomotives and large machines with new, energy-saving technologies.

DB is also using Prima H3 hybrid shunting locomotives that are more environmentally friendly compared with the earlier 214 series shunting vehicles.

The Prima H3 hybrid shunting locomotives, which are already operating in Würzburg and Nuremberg, mostly run in battery mode and are charged with small diesel generator. These new hybrid locomotives are claimed to save fuel and significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

A subsidiary of DB Cargo, Mitteldeutsche Eisenbahngesellschaft (MEG), also operates hybrid shunting locomotives in Schkopau.

Earlier this year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) of New York, US, selected Harsco Rail for a multi-year $40m contract for flat cars.