Work in progress…
Sale of 14 locos to Italy
In the early years of the 21st century, some of the 342s that had been deemed surplus to requirements were sold to Italian freight operators who were looking for cheap 3,000 V d.c. electric locomotives to take advantage of the liberalised railway post-directive 91/440/EEC. These were considered ideal for the task as their Italian parentage meant that they were not a million miles away from the existing knowledge of the Italian railwayman (not to mention the availability of certain common parts). 14 locos crossed the border – 8 for Ferrovie Nord Milano and 6 for Ferrovie Emilia Romagna – and they were rechristened class E640.
E640-08 (the former 342 040) waits for departure time at Laveno Mombello Nord with a train to Saronno, 30/07/06 (JW)
The FNM locos were used for both freight and passenger trains – the former until brand new multi-voltage border-crossing TRAXX machines arrived, and the latter (along with hired-in SBB coaches – see my photo above) awaiting the arrival of brand new EMUs. Their replacements were in traffic by 2010 and the E640s were then stood down. They have since been up for sale, but do not seem to have attracted any serious interest.
The FER locos have seen less use, entirely on freight traffic, and are also now out of use. Most recently they were hired to Oceanogate for use on container traffic from the port of La Spezia, and were seen across most of northern Italy.
Details of the 14 locos that went to Italy can be seen in the table below:-
|New No.||Old No.||Operator|
Booked Passenger Work
To be continued…