Italian State Railways’ (FS Italiane Group) freight subsidiary Mercitalia Rail and its unit TX Logistik (Polo Mercitalia) are set to purchase up to 125 next-generation TRAXX electric locomotives for a sum of almost €400m.

The acquisition arrangement was finalised following an eight-month competitive tender involving a number of major international suppliers.

The new electric locomotives will be developed by Bombardier and are set to be used for freight transportation in Italy, as well as throughout the European continent.

“Our goal is to use these new locomotives to enhance and improve freight services in Italy, the Transalpine Corridors and the major European countries.”

Mercitalia Logistics managing director Marco Gosso said: “We are in line with what has been planned for the revival of the freight sector of the FS Italiane Group, both for the results we are gaining and for investments.

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“Our goal is to use these new locomotives to enhance and improve freight services in Italy, the Transalpine Corridors and the major European countries.

“In this way, the Polo Mercitalia will push further acceleration to the delicate process of orientation and attention to the newly launched customer.”

The transaction agreement will see Bombardier be responsible for maintaining the locomotives for an eight-year period both in Italy and abroad in order to optimise the vehicles’ efficiency and availability following the commencement of commercial operations.

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The development is expected to renew Polo Mercitalia’s total fleet by more than one-third over the next three years.

Delivery of the new vehicles is scheduled to begin in the second half of next year.