Earlier, we reported about LINEAS France having restyled its 75036 into full company colours. Now, also loco 75110 has been given the new livery.
An unknown Prima DE43 C AC / AD43C diesel locomotive awaits delivery to Iran at Belfort, France on June 21, 2002. Picture by Vincent Torterotot.
Anglo Belgian Corporation (ABC) has been awarded a contract by Islamic Republic of Iran Railways that will see two AD43C (also known as Prima DE43 C AC) diesel locomotives re-powered with ABC 12DZC diesel engines. The two locomotives will serve as prototype for a larger re-powering programme covering the entire fleet of 100 AD43C locomotives. Part of the programme are not only the supply of the engines, but also fitting them into the locomotives, installing modern air filters and monitoring the re-entry into service of the locos.
The 100 locomotives, of which 20 have been built by Alstom in Belfort, are currently powered Ruston 16K215 diesel engines. Where Ruston produced the first 20 diesel engines itself, the remaining 80 were produced in Iran by Desa under a technology transfer deal which also included the local production of a similar number of AD43C locomotives by Mapna. However, the locomotives, and especially the engines, are subjected to high temperatures and dust, which causes poor availability levels.
OSR France has hired two additional Prima diesel locomotives of the BB 75000 series from Akiem. It concerns locomotives 75017 and 75025. Both locomotives have been styled into the new OSR livery, which includes partly pink cabs going over into a pink beam along the roof, similar to the livery used on the electric Prima's used by the company. Loco 75019 has received the new livery too, but was already in service for OSR for a longer time.
In the French media and on railjournal.com:
France’s industry minister Mr Christophe Sirugue told a meeting of union representatives and elected officials in Belfort on October 4 that the French government will fund an order for 15 TGV Euroduplex trains and 20 locomotives to save Alstom’s plant in the town from closure.
Sirugue also confirmed that French National Railways (SNCF) will also order a batch of six TGVs for Paris - Lyon - Turin services. Power cars for all 21 trains will be built at Belfort, securing the medium-term future of the plant, which employs 480 staff.'
Railcolor: it is not an order yet, but a plan. Last September, Alstom announced to close the Belfort site as a manufacturing location and to reform it as service point. 400 of the 480 employees would be re-assigned to another Alstom factory in France. However, president Mr François Hollande intervened and blocked the plan. Not only does he care about the factory and its workforce, Hollande is also facing elections next year and closing yet another factory is bad news for his campaign.
But if this new 'save Belfort' plan will be executed is to be seen. It depends on whether or not this governmental intervention is regarded as (illegal) state aid or not. Next to that, Alstom was not planning to stop locomotive production, nor firing people. It was slimming down its production capacity as its order portfolio was not as full as envisaged. Alstom was planning on moving its locomotive production to Reichshoffen, what will happen there when Belfort stays open? And of course there is the more general question, what is to become of Belfort on the long term? The possible new order will only bring work for around 1,5-2 years. To be continued.
Update: Lok-report.de brings a summary (scroll down) of what has been communicated in the French press yesterday. Additionally, Philippe Jacqué is answering questions from readers. The extra TGVs can be ordered directly from existing frame contracts. Curious is that some of the new TGVs will be used on conventional intercity lines.
For SNCF, twenty support and rescue locomotives will be ordered (French: '20 locomotives diesel pour le remorquage de trains en panne).
Alstom will have to invest 40 million euro in Belfort, to be used for expanding it product portfolio (locomotives and electric busses), creating new jobs in the service department. 30 million euro will go into the 'development of new diesel or hybrid locomotives'.