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A drawing of the Velaro-D DB class 407 in use arriving at station
Velaro-RUS EVS1 unit 08 in Moscow, Russia

Siemens Mobility
Siemens is one of the largest world wide manufacturers for railroad rolling stock, equipment and electronics. The product portfolio on trains offers everything from super high speed Velaro EMUs to heavy and fast state of the art electric locomotives like Eurosprinters and Vectrons. Products have been carefully implemented for each market testing the conditions there. For instance in U.S. the Taurus locos are adapted to fit the East coast traffic and an own plant created to Sacramento in California. For Russia Siemens has created a large scale manufacturing plant together with Sinara.

As a result, although sometimes the products initial buying price might be more expensive than the competition, the state of the art rolling stock offers many other benefits for their users to offset the price tag. Thinking in the long run has lead to Siemens' and its customers' success.

Created for by John McKey and Hannu Peltola. Pictures by Reto Blasi, Ilkka Siissalo, Hannu Peltola and John McKey.

Also in this section
A drawing of the Velaro-D DB class 407 in use arriving at station Manufacturers Main page gives you access to tens of rolling stock or component manufacturers around the world.

BLS brand new class 486 loco number 503 with mixed freight in Effingen, SwitzerlandBombardier is a worldwide manufacturer of railroad rolling stock for heavy professional uses. Famous product lines include TRAXX, Regina, Zefiro, ...

NSB Bm74 number 503 and SBB class 522 number 202 in Rorschach, Switzerland
Stadler Rail is a large Swiss manufacturer best known for its large selection of highly popular EMUs and DMUs.

ICx of Deutsche Bahn, Germany
Siemens High Speed Rolling Stock
The most famous Siemens products are undoubtedly its Inter City Express and Velaro trains found in many corners of the earth. These are offered for the super high speed class. For the "normal" high speed traffic Siemens is now starting to offer ICx concept train.

  More on Siemens high speed trains...
  Siemens high speed trains around the world...
Railpool class 193 Vectron AC, Munich, Germany

Siemens Advanced Locomotives
For the locomotives Siemens offers a large product portfolio built now solely on Vectron technology.
Vectron is a platform base and variants exist for all uses:
-- AC electric locomotive with "last mile" diesel power unit.
-- AC (alternating current) electric locomotive
-- DC (direct current, slightly less powerful) electric locomotive
-- Diesel version of Vectron

Despite the technologically quite impressive line of Vectrons don't forget the famous aftermarket products like ES64U2 Taurus and other Eurosprinter locomotives, or the diesel Eurorunners. Most of these are still electric, but use of common platforms also enables creating diesel-electric and all kinds of hybrid versions for the customer specific needs.

  More on Siemens locomotives...


Granit of the Siemens-Sinara Cooperations and Joint Ventures in Eastern Europe
In Russia the most famous locomotives today seems to be the Siemens-Sinara cooperative built 2ES10 "Granit" and other locos of the product lines. Granit is a powerful double or triple loco for pulling up to 9000 metric ton trains across the Ural mountains. While not quite up to the powers of IORE locos, these are still quite impressive heavy locomotives with their 800 kN per single unit pulling power. More Granits are flowing regularly from the production lines to fill the needs of locomotive hungry railroads in Russia.

  More on Sinara Granit locomotives...

Another interesting and welcome novelty is the similarly deviced building of the ES1L "Lastochka" EMU. Vehicle is based on the Siemens Mobility proven Desiro ML technology. ES1L is extremely wide bodied and long 5 moduled EMUs meant for the transportation of large numbers of commuting passengers in the southern city of Sochi and Russian capital Moscow. While the first EMUs were built at Siemens plants in Germany, the production has also started in Russia, undoubtedly gaining speed fast. As with Granits, the ES1L found their way to use quickly.
Desiro-RUS "Lastochka" at Innotrans 2012, Berlin, Germany
A CRH-3 in China

International Exports and Cooperations
Siemens Mobility is also one of the key players on providing a world wide deliveries, local manufacturing, cooperation and services for its customers. The most important product groups for this are super high speed trains, high speed locomotives, EMUs and metros.

  More on Siemens international solutions...

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  Siemens High Speed Trains
A drawing of the Velaro-D DB class 407 in use arriving at station

Velaro Super High Speed EMUs
Siemens is one of the the worldwide innovations leaders in the demanding super high speed trains manufacturing. Every generation of the Velaro trains (formerly known as ICEs) brings some new features to the benefit of the customers and end users. Features that need improvement are changed. Every new generation also seems bring some added aerodynamics to the design, a feature that help on type recognition.

The Velaro story started in and around Germany as the ICE3, design needing reorganized manufacturing and some further development. In 2009, Siemens Mobility went through every single component on the train and redesings were made where needed. This new train with lots of tradition still built in became Velaro. Because of these features Velaro comes out as an easily recognizable successor to the ICE3 product line.

For Germany the entry customer for Velaro is Deutsche Bahn, who have purchased a fleet of 17 EMUS, classified as German class 407. Due to difficulties of getting certifications for any new rolling stock in Germany, these are only now coming online. New trains intended use was on DB international routes, but since the market inside Germany is in continuous growth, units are now needed there. Thus time for international solutions will only come later.

   and  differences of the latest offering the Velaro (German class 407 / Eurostar e320) and the earlier class 406 can be seen quite clearly. At first the trains look deceptively similar, but once you start going through the details, you notice that numerous components have been altered and improved!

Velaro versions have also been developed for each market area and these trains have currently running in Belgium, China, Netherlands, Russia, Spain and United Kingdom.

Deutsche Bahn, NMBS and NSB are also using its class 406 ICE3 fleet in the international routes. Eurostar routes traditionally are international so all e320, once taken into use, will run into neighboring countries.

  Siemens high speed trains around the world...

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DB ICE3 class 406 stopping in Liege, Belgium
Railjet in Austria

Railjet High Speed Virtual EMUs
Besides the popular Velaro EMUs Siemens Mobility also has other offerings for the high speed customers in the slightly lower segments of it. One of these has been the Taurus (Eurosprinter ES64Ux) locomotive with three sub generations are in use. In the summer 2013 the product line was discontinued because the model could no more be certified to EU crash norms and it was easier for Siemens to create a new Vectron product line. However, Vectron 'only' runs at top speeds of 200 km/h (125 mph), not quite matching the needs of high speed trains. Fortunate ES64Ux Taurus is a very common locomotive with units available for high speed due for foreseeable future.

ÖBB, the Austrian Railways, has for long been devoted to Taurus locomotives as its true multiuse locomotive. No wonder ÖBB chose to build its high speed virtual EMUs around this platform. These virtual EMUs are called Railjet and they run most of the time in fixed formations much the way other electric multiple units do. Each Railjet consists of ES64U2 or ES64U4 + several coaches + driving trailer.

It could be argued that 230 km/h / 143 mph is enough for high speed services. However, taking into account the typical line speeds, distances between stations, geographical formations, tunnels, and rail congestion in places this speed can sometimes offer by far the best solutions.

   On above left the Railjet test train takes a curve in Austria during the early trial runs. The formation here is not a typical one, but has two locomotives and at least one driving trailer.

  On the left the Railjet formation lead by Austrian class 1116 Taurus unit 213 and has just arrived to Munich, Germany. Picture by Richard Oed.

   Set 49 of the Railjet fleet seen at Landeck, Austria. This units is vividly vinyled to celebrate the 175 years of railroading in Austria. Picture by Peider SwissTrip.

  How striking contrast a double Railjet sets create while snaking through the green mountain valleys of Austria! Picture from Braz, Austria by Peider SwissTrip.

Railjet with Taurus Eurosprinter in Munich, Germany
A special deliveried ÖBB Railjet at Landeck, Austria Raijets in the Braz landscape, Austria
ICx of Deutsche Bahn, Germany

ICx of Siemens Mobility
The early high speed train designs like ICE1 or the TGV-PSE were state of the art 30 years ago. But since the fast development in the area has led to significant improvements and now there is also a road map for the TGV-PSE, ICE1 and ICE2 for retirement.

As usual the well working super high speed / high end system has also meant the need for increased capacity and a creation of a new sub high speed class. Super high speed class can not create added value where higher speed usage is limited. This might be because of track speeds, stations located near each other, congested rail lines or similar other reason. Often the slightly slower trains with much lower price tags are almost as good solution. Because of this you see many operators taking this approach in addition to true super high speed trains. The first ICx trains will be built by Siemens for this capacity need and the later units for the replacement of the ICE1 and ICE2 units. While not quite as fast as the ICE1/2, the operator DB has found out that most of the time the very top speed is not used even today. And for the higher speeds the Deutsche Bahn can still offer their super high speed Velaros / ICE3's.

  More on Siemens International High Speed Trains...

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  Siemens Locomotives

Railpool class 193 Vectron AC, Munich, Germany  European Locomotives

Newest breed of Siemens European locomotives is called Vectron. It is a 4 axle powerful common platform for all purposes, higher speeds included. Vectron has been very successful in sales and has been certified to numerous countries. Quite soon there will be already 400 Vetcrons in traffic since the beginnings in 2012.

  More on Siemens Vectron locomotives...
  Vectron Technical Info...

HectorRail ES64U2 Taurus number 531, Stockholm, Sweden

Eurosprinter ES64U2 / ES64U4
Previous top of the line, and still fastest of all, ES64U2 and ES64U4 excel in high speed train running. Locomotives have top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) and hold the locomotive World record of 357 km/h (222 mph). Yet, this locomotive is multipurpose work horse and can be seen on local trains and freights too.

  More on Siemens ES64U2 and ES64U4 locomotives...

Hector Rail class 441 Eurosprinter in Halsberg, Sweden

Eurosprinter ES64F4
ES64F4 is an exceptionally powerful locomotive for 4 axle design. Proven performance is appreciated by numerous railroad companies, which have hundreds of unit in freight traffic from Mediterranean to Baltic Sea. Robustness means hauling longer trains than other competition does, and structures built for heavy multilocomotive use. Some units even have an automatic centre coupler installed for European heavy trains.

  More on Siemens ES64F4 locomotives...

Siemens Eurorunner 20 in Lithuania
Eurorunner ER20
Amtrak ACS64 number 601 in Pueblo, Colorado, U.S.A.
ACS64 Cities Sprinter for Amtrak and Septa
New 4400 Hp Diesel-electric for Several Operators
Granit of the Siemens-Sinara
2ES10 "Granit"

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Locomotives - Europe

 Siemens Vectron Locomotives

Railpool class 193 Vectron AC, Munich, Germany

Railpool class 193 Vectron AC, Munich, Germany

Siemens has an extensive line of modern locomotives for use mainly in Europe and U.S. Most of these locomotives are built for boxy shape, missing the walkways at sides of the nose. Most are also 4 axle electric locomotives, though exemptions to both main rules exist. For understanding the product lines almost missing diesel variants you also have to understand the background of the company as a huge electric device manufacturer. Siemens with its over hundred year roots has manufactured all kinds of products that have electricity in common for them. Manufacturing diesel variants is thus only secondary business to Siemens, or should we say, has been so far.

The electric locomotive product line has 3 main platforms and numerous variants. The most important line today is called Vectron. Wide Vectron selection of models also has ACS64 (Amtrak Cities Sprinter 6,4 Megawatts) model for U.S. Northeast express traffic.


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  Siemens Locomotives

DB class 189 number 056 receiving trainorders in Duisburg, Germany

Hector Rail class 441 Eurosprinter in Valtorp, Sweden

Hector Rail class 441 Eurosprinter in Halsberg, Sweden

SBB Cargo TRAXX and Eurosprinter ES64F4 in Chiasso, Switzerland

Dispolok Taurus class 182 at Hamburg Hauptbahnhof in 2003

HectorRail ES64U2 Taurus number 531, Göteborg, Sweden

HectorRail ES64U2 Taurus number 531, Stockholm, Sweden

Previous electric locomotive lines share name Siemens Eurosprinter. Two main production lines were built, one "boxy" for mainly freight use and another well designed rounded true multipurpose locomotive suited for high speed train hauling as well as largre freights.

Eurosprinter ES64F4
This line of Eurosprinters was designed mainly for heavy freight use, although even these locos you can sometimes see at the point of a passenger train as well. Units are known for a rugged structure enabling them run exceptionally heavy freights. The ES64F4 could actually even be used in the Sweden's north hauling the heaviest trains in the whole Europe!

Looking at the wrecks of this exceptionally powerful 4 axle locomotive it appears that the locomotive body strength is well designed too and rarely shows severe collision damage.

  Siemens ES64F4 of DB German class 189 number 056 is taking here printed train orders at Duisburg, Germany. Behind an older class 140 locomotive is lining up for the same task. Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.

  An easily achieved climb of the hill for this HectorRail fast container service! HectorRail ES63FE class 441 number 001 is seen here climbing a steep incline on S curve in Valtorp, Sweden. Picture by Nick Slocombe.

  HectorRail class 441 number 001 "Cyborg" is seen in Hallsberg, middle Sweden with a forest industry train. Powerful Eurosprinter is qquite in place at the point of this freight, which would be hauled by less powerful double locomotives by most other companies in the area. Picture by Gerry Putz.

  Possibly the same Eurosprinter unit is seen in this picture from Switzerland. Swiss SBB acquired ES64F4s for crossborder traffic between Switzerland and Italy. However, because of Italian protectonism these were not certified for operations there in time and SBB decided to return all locomotives to Siemens. This in turn gave HectorRail a window of opportunity to acquire off shelf perfectly capable new condition locomotion, which suited its demand situation extremely well. Today these locomotives run trains from Sweden through Denmark to destinations in Germany. Picture by Peider SwissTrip.


Eurosprinter ES64U2 and ES64U4 "Taurus"
Where the ES64F4 excels in freight the U variant was built as a true multiuse locomotive. The lead customer was ÖBB in Austria 10 years ago, but now the model seems to be acquiring new customers every year. The ES64U2/U4 are so trusted that the lively aftermarket also exists enabling new customers acquire these fast when a need arises. One example is HectorRail, which uses the Taurus ES64U2 and ES64U4 locomotives in Sweden, Denmark and Germany, both for passenger and freight traffic.

The Taurus will be replaced mainly by Vectron in 2012, when the manufacturing of Tauruses cease. However, expect these to be around in use for multiple decades.

Many Tauruses can be found in Austrian classes 1016, 1047, 1116 and 1216, as well as German class 182. In Italy the locos are assigned class 190 and in Poland class EU44.

Picture of Taurus ES64U2 on the left by Ilkka Siissalo and below by John McKey.

Siemens Vectron prototype at Innotrans


Vectron is the latest family in the Siemens' locomotive offering. Many features from the earlier Eurosprinters have been again perfected and the locomotive comes with a new bulkier looking design. The electric version of Vectron is a true multinational European loco, available for four different currents in one pack and the customer can as well choose between the train control systems for the countries where the locomotive is to operate. For the first time for Siemens in the multimode locomotive family, the Vectron is now available as a diesel version too. While the electric Vectron looks just like the SNCB class 18 electric loco, the diesel version is very much like Latvian railways' Eurorunner 20.

As a new model the Vectron has now been on certification run in several central European countries. The lead customer CargoNet has received its two units and is taking them in use and the Swiss company BLS Cargo is taking into use 6 Railpool owned Vectrons in 2012.

It now looks like the Vectrons in use in Germany have been assigned German class 193 letters.


Siemens Eurorunner 20 in Lithuania

The Eurorunner locomotive family provides diesel traction for the Siemens' customers. Manu users are from the ex. Soviet territory and 1520 mm gauge environment.

The current Eurorunner looks surprisingly like a Vectron locomotive...


Granit of the Siemens-Sinara
2ES10 Granit of Siemens-Sinara
In Russia the most famous locomotive today seems to be the Siemens-Sinara cooperative built 2ES10 "Granit", a powerful double or triple (3ES10) loco for pulling the 9000 metric ton trains across the Ural mountains. While not quite up to the powers of IORE locos, these are still quite impressive heavy locomotives with double units 800 kN or triple units 1200 kN pulling power. More Granits are flowing regularly from the production lines to fill the needs of locomotive hungry railroads in Russia.
Other common Siemens manufactured locomotives:
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  Siemens High Speed Around the World
Velaro-RUS at St Petersburg Moscowskaya station, Russia

Siemens Velaro high speed trains family has been an enormous success in acquiring the world wide acceptance and popularity. It seems like these trains are the forerunner of progress for many strong train companies.

The Velaro variants can currently be found in Belgium, China, Germany, Holland, France, Luxembourg, Russia Spain and soon in U.K. as well.


Velaro-Rus / Sapsan / EVS1
One of the interesting stories is about the modernization of the Russian railways. The country during its Soviet period relied on the Latvian RVR "high speed" trains and tried to develop Sokol high speed train as a national prestige project on its own. These developments newer took off and only one RVR trains remains left in traffic today. In the mid 2000 RzD ("the Russian railways") decided to start cooperation with Siemens, which supplied the first 8 state of the art maybe common Velaro looking but specially tailored high speed trains. The line between Moscow and St Petersburg was upgraded to 250 km/h and the speeds were increased as well on many lines radiating from the two cities. One of the special features of Velaro-Rus / Sapsan is its ability to withstand -40 degree Celsius freezing temperatures while remaining operable and comfortable inside! This is an incredible feat for a high speed train. Although the trains today run a moderate 250 km/h, they can according to Siemens be upgraded for 300 km/h, when the need arises later.

First eight Velaro-Rus units for the RzD were in traffic in 2011. With these Siemens built and maintained trains the Moscow - St Petersburg line became an immediate success. This lead to ongoing discussion of new, true high speed line linking these two cities, because the current high speed traffic disturbs severely all other train traffic on the same crowded tracks. We at expect the decision about going forward with this line to be announced in 2012 building starting soon thereafter.

In December 2011 RzD announced that due to its satisfaction with the existing popular and well working trains it will order another batch of eight trains, deliveries starting in 2014. These new units will be slightly more luxurious than the current ones. The new units will provide help to capacity issues on the popular service and now the double heading for the Velaro-Rus is in plans as well.

Velaro-RUS on line, Russia
Velaro-S as AVE unit in Spain


Velaros in Spain
Spanish Renfe has 26 Velaro-E (Espana=Spain) units for use of the extensive Spanish standard gauge high speed networks. The trains derive from the class 406 ICE3 trains and form Spanish AVE class 103.

AVE text seen on the nose of the Velaro-E means the Spanish high speed service with a number of different manufacturers trains in use for Renfe.

Chinese CRH3C / CRH380B Units
The Velaro-C (CRH3C) in China has been another success story. First 80 of the 8 module trains were taken into use in 2008 and soon after more orders cascaded for the manufacturer, some of these for extra long CRH380B train sets.

  On the left one of the original EMUs on one of the Chinese impressive high speed lines. Despite the bad media publicity recently the Chinese high speed projects results are impressive. Picture by courtesy of Siemens AG.

DB ICE3 class 406 unit 4611 stopping in Köln, Germany

German ICE classes 403 and 406
The home turf for Siemens is Germany, where ICE3 classes 403 and 406 handle much of the super high speed traffic.

  More on Velaro and ICE High Speed Theme Page...

  On the left class 406 ICE3 unit "Düsseldorf" is making a stop in the city of Düsseldorf :) . What a coincidence! Picture by Ilkka Siissalo.

  DB Class 407 Velaro-D
Eurostar E320 on display in London, U.K.
Eurostar e320
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© Railroad Reference 2004 - 2015   -   Created 18.10.2011 John McKey, Updated 26.6.2015