Germany-based Unicredit Leasing has awarded a contract to Siemens for the delivery of eight Vectron DC type locomotives.

Unicredit will lease the new electric locomotives with DB Schenker Rail freight operator in Italy.

Featuring a maximum power of 5,200KW and are capable of travelling up to 160km/h, the vehicles will enter into service from late 2016.

"Basic approval for Italy has already been obtained, so that the delivery time can be shortened considerably."

DB Schenker Rail Italia managing director Rüdiger Gastell said: "With this order and the future deployment of these locomotives, DB Schenker Rail will be able to continue improving its competitiveness in Italy."

Siemens mobility division CEO Jochen Eickholt said: "Again, DB Schenker Rail has chosen the Vectron DC. 23 locomotives have already proven their worth in freight transport operations in Poland.

"Now the same type is to be used in Italy. Our locomotives are well-equipped for this new mission. Basic approval for Italy has already been obtained, so that the delivery time can be shortened considerably."

In December 2012, Siemens won an order for 23 electric locomotives from DB Schenker Rail Polska, a Polish subsidiary of DB Schenker Rail. Vectron locomotives were subsequently deployed for freight services in Poland.

The Vectron family is designed to meet varying requirements and for goods transportation in Europe.

The family consists of single and multi-system locomotives for the European AC and DC networks for fast passenger services and interoperable cross-border freight services.