On 18 and 19 May 2022, after two long years of the Covid-19 pandemic, ELL held a long-overdue team meeting in Vienna combined with the opening of the joint venture service station LOCMASTA (ELL, LTE and ÖBB) in Gramatneusiedl.
“It was a very busy two days, but the focus was on feeling good,” remembers Christoph Katzensteiner. The colleagues met again for the first time in a long time, and visibly enjoyed themselves. In this spirit, the first item on the agenda was the team meeting, with an extensive programme.
On the first day, fitness studio GK-Studio provided some top tips for proper nutrition and physical fitness at the workplace and made an appeal to employees not to neglect exercise after work either. In short: a good work-life balance can and should start in the office.
As ELL’s headquarters are located so close to Schönbrunn Palace, it made sense to dedicate day two to the imperial family: this started with a “Tabtour”, a scavenger hunt that is both fun and involves solving various tasks as a team, which was much needed after so many months working from home. Six teams solved these tasks with flying colours and then refuelled with coffee and apple strudel in the Café Residenz.
A visit to the palace with a city tour along the Ringstraße not only led to a lunch break at the Renaissance Hotel, but also aimed to ring in another health-conscious new year.
Provided with the appropriate documents to take home, the employees from Austria, Germany, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia got the chance to test themselves to see how many of the numerous tips they had taken on board, because at the rocking opening party for LOCMASTA, the Locomotive Service Station, there were some culinary sins that might have been slightly at odds with the knowledge they had just gained …
LOCMASTA, the Locomotive Maintenance Station, was opened in Gramatneusiedl on 20th May 2022 in glorious weather and in the presence of well-known names from the local railway industry.
The location may sound a little exotic at first, but Gramatneusiedl is actually right at the heart of Europe, where the continent’s most important transport corridors from all directions meet. “For ELL and our partners ÖBB Train Tech and LTE (Logistics & Transport Europe), this is the key factor,” says Christoph Katzensteiner, “because it minimises locomotive downtime and guarantees rapid operational readiness.” LOCMASTA was indeed created by the partners for light maintenance and service work. The 1,200 m2 workshop will therefore initially focus on ELL partners and Siemens Vectron locomotives. However, the site also serves as a stopover for train drivers and is a hotspot for training and further education, “because the ELL Academy aims to meet its partners’ needs for precise training, thus playing its part in efficiently counteracting the acute staff shortage in the industry,” says Katzensteiner in summary.
On the opening day, partners and friends of the business got the chance to see the operators’ drive for perfection for themselves at a successful presentation on site, accompanied by culinary and musical treats.
All of Europe is trying to help as best it can to prevent the spiral of horrors from spinning even faster these days. The ELL team also wants to help: since 31st March 2022, it has been working with long-standing partner RegioJet to bring people displaced from the war zones of Ukraine to safety.
The train from Przemysl travels to the Czech capital Prague every day. Our locomotive 193-226-8 has become something of a symbol for the enthusiasm of our colleagues on the railways but is now also a place for thousands of displaced persons to pause and take a breath. And it may also provide the glimmer of hope that we are all longing for.
It’s no secret that Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) is looking to shorten the journey time from Amsterdam to Berlin. It achieved this for the first time when it operated the reliable multi-system ELL locomotive 193 263 on 15th February 2022 and cut out a 20-minute stop in Bad Bentheim on the Dutch-German border, as this allowed the train to operate as a normal Intercity train.
The ELL Vectron leased by NS as a Nightjet to Cologne and Frankfurt has so far been able to keep to the timetable while observing the different maximum speeds on both sides of the border thanks to the one-off change. It is therefore hoped that this will be more than just a one-time experiment and will bring noticeable benefits for passengers. In any case, the ELL Vectron is ready.
Our “Flying Dutchmen” leased to NS, the Dutch state railway, have recently been given a sleek new design in NS’ distinctive yellow and blue. The complete film-wrapping of the two locomotives was another milestone in our collaboration with NS and we are looking forward to a fantastic launch of the NightJet from Amsterdam to Vienna.
ÖBB, LTE and ELL create joint venture for new service centre in the greater Vienna area
(Vienna – 04/05/2020) – ÖBB-Technische Services GmbH (ÖBB TS), LTE Logistics & Transport Europe (LTE) and ELL European Locomotive Leasing (ELL) are forming a joint venture called ETL Lokservice GmbH to set up and operate a service base for locomotives.
ETL Lokservice: Start scheduled for autumn 2021
The new base is situated strategically at the intersection of international rail freight corridors, where maintenance will be performed on modern locomotives from autumn 2021. The three partners each bring something unique to the joint venture: LTE and ELL contribute modern locomotive fleets while ÖBB TS boasts long-standing know-how as an established and professional maintenance company for rail vehicles.
“After many years of planning and another year of negotiations with the competition authority in Brussels, the project is now entering the next phase”, say Michael Benda and Andreas Mandl, CFO and CEO of LTE, who are delighted that the next stage can now be tackled. “With the construction of the workshop at the Gramatneusiedl site, we are securing a strategic location in the greater Vienna area as well as creating new jobs in the region”, says Sandra Gott-Karlbauer, Managing Director of ÖBB TS. “In a 1,000 m² hall with four workstations, we expect to be able to serve all interested companies using state-of-the-art equipment from autumn 2021”, says Christoph Katzensteiner, CEO ELL.
ÖBB: Heute. Für morgen. Für uns. (Today. For tomorrow. For us.)
ÖBB, as a comprehensive mobility service provider, already carries 474 million passengers and 113 million tonnes of goods to their destinations each year. ÖBB offers a particularly eco-friendly way for passengers to travel, because 100 percent of its traction current comes from renewable energy sources. In 2018, ÖBB was one of the most punctual railways in Europe with around 96 percent punctuality. With railway infrastructure investments totalling approximately two billion euros per year, ÖBB is building the railway system of the future. Across the group, 41,641 bus and rail employees and an additional 2,000 apprentices ensure that some 1.3 million passengers reach their destinations safely every day. ÖBB is the backbone of society and the economy and is Austria’s largest member of the “climate protection companies” initiative. The group’s strategic lead company is ÖBB-Holding AG. With 3,600 employees at 22 locations, ÖBB-Technische Services GmbH is the largest maintenance company for rail vehicles and related components in Austria.
LTE Logistics & Transport Europe
In its 20th year, the LTE Group is one of the largest private rail transport companies in Europe and manages the network with nine subsidiaries and two affiliated companies in central and eastern Europe. Its 2019 turnover was around 150 million euros, with almost 500 employees operating 80 traction units.
ELL European Locomotive Leasing
ELL is a young, international locomotive leasing company with headquarters in Vienna and offices in Germany. The current locomotive fleet comprises 152 state-of-the-art Siemens Vectron locomotives for freight and passenger transport in Europe.
Mag. Bernhard Rieder
ÖBB-Holding AG, Group Communications
Telephone: +43 1 93000 44277
LTE Logistics & Transport Europe
Marketing & Public Relations
Telephone: +43 316 572020 246
ELL European Locomotive Leasing
Katherine Rivera Flores
Management and Marketing Assistant
Telephone: + 43 1 810 5429
Attention all night owls! From the end of 2020, you can travel from Amsterdam to Vienna (and back) on the NightJet. This will connect the Netherlands to the European “overnight train” network for the first time since 2016. Two locomotives from ELL’s fleet will pull these trains, taking passengers quickly and safely to their destinations. Covering the Amsterdam-Vienna route overnight calls for state-of-the-art, powerful and reliable locomotives that can run at up to 200 km/h in international passenger transport. The Vectron A10 “Flying Dutchman” (this corridor joins the North Sea and the Black Sea) from our fleet meets these requirements perfectly. The first test runs for the NightJet have already been successfully completed. This service will provide travellers with a comfortable and low-cost alternative to air travel on these routes in the future.
The operator of the trains is NS, the Dutch state railway. ELL won the tender thanks to its many years of experience in 200 km/h passenger transport as well as the exceptional availability and reliability of its fleet. We are delighted to be partnering with NS, DB and ÖBB in this exciting project and are proud to do our bit to help Europe meet its CO2 targets. We hope the first two locomotives get off to a successful start!