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FRANKFURT: December 11, 2017. Toshiba is to develop a new hybrid locomotive for the European rail market with the first 100 to be bought by Deutsche Bahn (DB) Cargo for an undisclosed price.

RAIL pool ADB Cargo said the vehicles would be used in regional transport operations with the first test vehicles expected to be available by the end of 2019.

Through its Arriva subsidiary, DB currently operates seven rail franchises in the UK – the largest of any operator – followed by France's SNCF with six, and Dutch State Railways with two.

Under the new agreement with Toshiba, a member of a consortium lead by locomotive leasing company RailPool, DB said it would supply 200 older freight locomotives to form the first leasing market for used rolling stock, with DB providing the maintenance.

Founded in 2008, Railpool currently leases 140 locomotives to European rail operators and has another 40 locomotives on order.

Despite a decline in the pace of rail freight innovation by European manufacturers, DB said Asian technology suppliers had not succeeded in penetrating the European market due to "insufficient experience of European rail operations", complicated approval procedures and the lack of suitable partners.

"The objective is to promote the development of the supplier market for freight locomotives and components in cooperation with Toshiba," said DB Cargo chairman Jürgen Wilder.

Wilder added that the new arrangement provided DB Cargo with access to sunrise technologies not currently available, while simultaneously enabling Toshiba to enter the European market. This is a classic win-win situation," he declared.

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