ex. DSB IC2 i Rumænien (m.l.) (Jernbanen i dag)

af mihai, lørdag 14. april, 2018, 14:39 (550 dage siden) @ mss

Hi all.

I was reading your considerations about the possible future of IC2 in Romania and I wanted to clarify few issues.

Astra Transcarpatic did not use any EU funds to buy the IC2 train sets from DSB. So there's no EU funds fraud there.

However the company made the move with IC2 in an attempt to cheat its way out of the near bankruptcy it's facing. The turnover of the parent company Astra Passenger Coaches dropped from ~70 mil. EUR in 2014 to ~10 mil. EUR in 2017. The train operator Transcarpatica was started a littler over a year ago only because 8 coaches manufactured by the parent company were no longer acquired by the customer.

However Astra Transcarpatic performs under the expectations, even though the long distance trains are marketed as "luxury trains", which they are not. So getting the IC2 almost for free and then cashing in the 75% subsidy for the train services from the Romanian Government seemed like an easy way out.

But Astra Passenger Coaches has no technical ability to solve the complex problems of IC2. As the company name says it, they're specialised in manufacturing passenger coaches. The closest they came to Diesel train sets was in 2002, when they've assembled the Siemens Desiro kits for CFR (the Romanian National Railway Company). Previously from '76 till '92 they've manufactured the train sets for the Bucharest Metro. But that was long time ago and those were anyway electric, not Diesel.

So they have neither the technical skills when it comes to sorting bad manufactured Diesel engines, nor the financial resources to do it, especially on the down slope on which they are now. And it's worth to be mentioned that although indeed, the labour costs are cheaper in Romania compared to Italy and Denmark, still they are not that much cheaper to allow Romanians to do the impossible.

There's no comparison between a 1.3 billion manufacturer like Ansaldo Breda and a 10 million one like Astra. Ansaldo Breda had huge resources compared to Astra and yet they failed to make their own product usable. PROSE labeled IC2/IC4 as "incomplete engineering" and the meaning of that is clear and the same in the engineering of all the countries in EU, Romania included.

In technical terms, one of the major issues of IC2 is the undersized cooling, which allowed only less than half of the minimum air flow required for the electric power units. DSB managed to bring it up to 75% of the minimum, at that only at top speed. As the IC2 will operate at lower speeds and at higher average temperatures of the environment in Romania, the cooling will perform worse, not better than in Denmark. Therefore the risk of failures and fire in service will be a lot higher.

Same goes for the Diesel engines themselves, which will operate in much harder conditions compared to Denmark, with worse tracks, thus more vibrations. Therefore the risk of broken fuel lines or of cracks in the exhaust pipes would be higher in Romania.

Overall, we're strongly against Romanian authorities allowing IC2 to operate in Romania and will do all that we can legally to make sure that they will not get in service on our railways. Although, we fear that might still happen.

For now Astra Transcarpatica has postponed the launch of the services which were supposed to use IC2 starting this month. Their website states: "The services 15543/15542 between Timisoara Nord - Arad - Oradea - Baia Mare and return will start at a date which will be announced in the future"


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