If you want to show off your new locomotive platform, you would normally bring one locomotive, maybe two. Siemens went wild and brought four brand-new prototypes to promote their new Vectron platform.
Over the past few years, Bombardier has essentially left Siemens in the dust when it came to locomotives. Their TRAXX units have less power than Siemens’s EuroSprinter types, in particular the ES64F4, but they have the same tractive effort and are much cheaper. You can also buy them in the configuration you need, as opposed to the EuroSprinters, which always come as expensive four-system locomotives.
To combat this advantage, Siemens has developed an entirely new platform, using EuroSprinter technology for most parts, but now in a modular fashion. Vectron can be ordered as AC only (25 kV and 15 kV) with medium or high power, as DC only (1.5 kV and 3 kV) with medium power, as a four-system locomotive and as either medium speed (160 kph/100 mph) or high speed (200 kph/125 mph). All have identical parts at identical places inside, so you can upgrade e.g. an AC locomotive with 160 kph to a four-system one with 200 kph top speed by just installing the necessary additional parts. So far Siemens has no firm buyers, but a lot of interested parties, and to show their commitment, Siemens has built a total of six prototypes already, which will now soon start their approval processes.
This one is a DC version, showing the newest central coupler for europe’s railroads. Unlike all previous, essentially failed, attempts at establishing an automatic coupler, similar to the ones already in use for ages in the US and Russia, this new TRANSPACT coupling can be switched in a mode that is fully compatible with old chain-and-buffer couplers. It is compatible with just about all rail equipment built since the 1960s, and apparently Siemens wanted to show off that this includes the Vectron as well.