Locomotive Workshop Rotterdam (LWR) has been festively opened on Tuesday 26 November 2019 on the Second Maasvlakte. After less than a year of construction, the port of Rotterdam now has an ultramodern workshop for the maintenance of electric locomotives, as part of a European network of maintenance workshops. As Europe’s largest port, Rotterdam is the logistic gateway to the European railway network. LWR therefore makes it more attractive for operators of freight train services to transport more goods by rail to and from the port of Rotterdam.
LWR is a joint venture between locomotive manufacturer Siemens Mobility and train leasing company Mitsui Rail Capital Europe (MRCE). The workshop for preventive and corrective maintenance, inspections and updates – usually within the time frame of a day – has eight parking tracks and six maintenance tracks and is connected to the rail network. A traverse is used to transfer locomotives parallel between tracks. Before entering the workshop, locomotives are first cleaned on a special dedicated washing track. Wheels of locomotives can be re-profiled on the under-floor wheel lathe with an accuracy of within tenths of a millimetre.
Unique for a European locomotive workshop is the test track with a high voltage overhead system made by Siemens on which all the main voltages of railway tracks in Europe can be applied. In this way, LWR is responding to the increasing demand for maintenance of technically complex cross-border locomotives. Olaf Kuijper, director of LWR: “We looked closely at knowledge and know-how when putting together the team. For example, we not only have specialists from the rail sector, but also people with a commissioning background and two former Apache helicopter mechanics. They have military precision and a high level of safety awareness, which is just as relevant on the railways. Think also of the use of personalized tools. We have adopted this working method for our entire team, which maintains an open culture. As a young company within a relatively conservative sector, we do things just a little differently. There is a sense of ownership. The locomotive workshop is available for all types of electric locomotives.
Time and cost saving
The port of Rotterdam is the start and end point of more than 250 weekly international rail journeys. LWR’s location eliminates the need for time consuming locomotive movements, saving time and money. Kuijper: “What I would like to mention is the tremendous cooperation shown by ProRail and the Port of Rotterdam Authority, such as making the site on the Second Maasvlakte available as well as the connection to the existing railway network. They have played a huge role in LWR’s construction which took only a little less then a year”. The design and construction of the workshop has already taken into account future extensions of the railway network around the site. This makes future expansion of capacity and facilities possible. To minimize the CO2 footprint, solar panels have been placed on the roof of the workshop to provide 50% of the workshops energy need.