CZ/SK verze

Replacement locomotive – as an idea for creating unobtrusive competitive advantages

Replacement locomotive – as an idea for creating unobtrusive competitive advantages
photo: Marek Pyt/Kurier Kolejowy/Olkol
08 / 07 / 2021

The idea in the management of Olkol was born at the end of last year on the basis of analyses. These analyses were carried out by the company in order to reduce the negative impact of the Covid pandemic on the level of contracts in the context of locomotive maintenance. It was the last quarter of last year and the first quarter of this year that was the most difficult for Olkol. The reduction in the number of locomotive kilometres driven by Polish carriers due to pandemic restrictions led to the postponement of previously planned inspections. Free capacities appeared in the workshop and resulted in an excess of service. This significantly reduced the bidder prices for locomotive repairs at P3 and P4 levels. The company management decided not to participate in a destructive price war in a competitive market, but rather to offer some non-technical bonuses, especially in the field of customer service. This created the idea of "replacement locomotives".

This concept is modeled on the basis of a model in the automotive market, where everyone is well known for replacement cars, which we can rent in service centers. It works the same way with Olkol. The carrier will deliver its locomotives to the Olkol workshop for repairs of P3 or higher, for example, and at the same time, it can rent the locomotive. This is a particularly interesting solution for smaller carriers who do not have an extensive fleet and cannot provide themselves a replacement for a repaired locomotive.

Currently, the company is preparing additional locomotives, but their launch will depend on customer reaction. "We keep saying that this project is innovative in the railway market. In this sense, we are definitely spearhead in Poland. However, a business must pay off and in order for this project to have the potential to develop into other 'replacement locomotives', there must be positive feedback from potential customers from the market. However, we as OLKOL are ready. We have another "seven" ready to renovate, we have SM42 and ET21. If all goes according to our plan, this year there will be more locomotives with the inscription "replacement locomotive" - says Marcin Trzaska, The Board of Directors' Plenipotentiary and Director of Development Olkol.

At the same time, the replacement locomotive offered to customers is a classic and very popular "seven" in Poland, i.e. EU07-155. The vehicle was purchased by OLKOL as a decommissioned vehicle, thanks to Olkol this locomotive remained completely renovated and returned to another life.

The "replacement locomotive" service project currently launched by OLKOL on the locomotive service market in Poland is nothing more than building in this difficult market of other competitive advantages - says Marcin Trzaska, the plenipotentiary of the Board of Directors and Director of Development of Olkol, summarizes.

Olkol sp. Z o.o. is a Polish workshop that provides services in the field of repair and modernization of rolling stock. It specializes in level revision repairs (P4) and (P5) on electric locomotives for freight and passenger transport. It also offers maintenance services for electric locomotives at P1, P2 and P3 levels.