Hybrid locomotives based on the DM 20 platform

Huge variation in the deployment options

With the electrification of railway networks on the rise and the public debate around better emission figures for combustion engines, railway vehicle technology is also compelled to develop hybrid drive systems. With the newly conceived DM 20 hybrid locomotive, Vossloh Locomotives has found the right answer to the questions being asked of freight transportation and shunting operations today and tomorrow.

The newly-developed platform concept from Vossloh Locomotives is not just the successful combination of the functionality and operability of a shunting locomotive with the performance of an electric main-line locomotive. It also provides operators with features that are pointing the way to the future:

Modular platform concept: You can choose your locomotive’s hybrid configuration according to your specific area of use and in so doing equip it perfectly to suit your actual operational profile.

The vehicle architecture enables the flexible implementation of different energy source solutions and ensures universal network access. In order to achieve this, the energy storage modules, such as batteries or diesel, are integrated using standardized and validated interfaces. Thanks to its fully redundant drive train, which is compatible with current and future energy storage and energy generation technologies, whichever form of energy storage system prevails in the future, the DM 20 is equipped to handle it.

In practical terms, the DM 20 hybrid locomotive has high output for both secondary drive systems. These are based on a mid-cab locomotive with a platform length of 18.7 meters. Additional technical data:

Since the operating mode can be changed quickly from catenary to on-board energy storage or diesel module while the locomotive is moving, the hybrid locomotive principle extends the radius of activity and at the same time ensures a better environmental footprint and lowers costs.

The main challenges that the new DM 20 platform faced included achieving high availability and reliability in a locomotive and reducing the per-kilometer running costs it incurs. Under the current circumstances, significantly reducing a locomotive’s running costs is only possible through consistent use of the catenary. In the scope of operations mentioned above, this policy can reduce today’s energy and fuel costs by more than 50 percent.

In order to comprehensively integrate the principle of Condition Based Maintenance or CBM into a locomotive for the first time, the new DM 20 platform was constructed according to the "Design for serviceability" maxim. Apart from increased availability and reliability with reduced running costs per kilometer, this principle also constitutes valuable strides forward toward predictive maintenance of the components.

At its heart is the Asset Intelligence Center. All the hybrid locomotives’ component-based condition and location information is compiled in this digital master display in order to provide live analyses by checking the vehicle data against a digital twin using standardized protocols. The CBM concept sets specific reference variables for the locomotive’s main components. These are logged in real time as sensor data and analyzed using monitoring logic with thresholds. In order to achieve this, the monitoring system uses numerous sensors that have been newly added especially for the CBM tasks in order to better measure time, acceleration, pressure and temperature. This makes it possible to rectify a problem quickly using Augmented Reality (AR). For fleet management, this new principle creates the conditions for reliably scheduling vehicle deployments. Utilizing the "lifespan reserve" of the respective components in the best possible way in turn leads to a reduction in maintenance costs and to the condition-dependent planning of workshop capacities, including the automated control of supply currents.