Vossloh AG
Traded as FWB: VOS
Industry Railway systems engineering
Founded 1888
Founder Eduard Vossloh
Headquarters Werdohl, Germany
Key people
Hans M. Schabert (CEO and chairman of the management board), Heinz Hermann Thiele (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Products Rail switches (points), fasteners; manufacture of diesel locomotives and suburban trains; electrical systems for light rail vehicles
Revenue €1.351 billion (2010)[1]
€152.1 million (2010)[1]
Profit €97.5 million (2010)[1]
Total assets €1.406 billion (end 2010)[1]
Total equity €580.0 million (end 2010)[1]
Number of employees
4,980 (average, 2010)[1]
Website www.vossloh.com

Vossloh AG is a German transport technology manufacturer based in Werdohl in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. The group has 4,700 employees (as of 2009), and generated sales of €1.2 billion, of which approximately 60% came from the rail infrastructure division, and the remainder from the motive power and components division. The company is included in the SDAX index.

The rail infrastructure division's key products are the devices (clamping terminals) for fastening the rail to the railway sleepers (railroad ties), railroad switches and switch controllers. The Motive Power Division and Components provides diesel-electric and diesel-hydraulic locomotives, metros, trams and electrical components for road and rail.

The main market for the group is Europe, with over three quarters of sales. In 2007 fifteen percent of sales were to the Americas, mainly North and Central America, one percent of sales to Oceania, and the remainder of sales were about equally divided between Africa, and the Near and Far East. [2]


Vossloh tension clamp[3]

In 1883 Eduard Vossloh submitted a bid to the Royal Prussian Railway for the manufacture of spring washers for rail fasteners and was granted the commission. On 11 July 1888 the Eduard Vossloh Company was registered. Spring washers and other hardware items were manufactured at the family's blacksmiths shop. Through the early 1900s the company continued to grow, producing general hardware including decorative items and lampholders for electric lights.[4]

In 1945 the facilities in Werdohl were destroyed by a bomb. Subsidiaries marketing lampholders which are located in Kaliningrad, Wroclaw and East Germany ceased to be part of the company due to the changes in political borders at that time.[4]

In 1946 production of holders for fluorescent tubes was allowed to take place at a plant in Lüdenscheid, by 1962 an additional plant for lighting products had opened in Selm and the Vossloh works employed 1300 people, with 500 more employed in subsidiaries. In 1966 the company obtained a license to produce a new tension clamp rail fastening developed by Prof. Hermann Meier director of the Deutsche Bundesbahn.[4][5]

Recession in Germany in the 1980s resulted in the closure of two plants and employee lay-offs reducing the staff by almost half. Management was brought in from outside the Vossloh family, and Schwabe GmbH acquired; its lighting ballast products complementing Vossloh's lighting fittings product range, and on 1 December 1989 Vossloh-Werke GmbH became a public stock company or Aktiengesellschaft (AG). At this time there were three company divisions : Vossloh-Werke GmbH (Werdohl) (railway components e.g. tension clamps), Vossloh-Schwabe GmbH (Urbach) (electrical lighting products and components), and Hansa Metallwarengesellschaft mbH Thiessen & Hager (decorative products, sunblinds).[4][5]

In the 1990s the reuninfication of Germany resulted, and new markets in eastern Europe resulted in additional demand for its rail fastening products on the former Deutsche Reichsbahn and elsewhere. Hoesch Maschinenfabrik Deutschland GmbH and W. Hegenscheidt GmbH manufacturers of railway wheelset machining equipment were acquired in the mid 1990s. In 1997 the company was first listed on the MDAX. In 1998 railway switch manufacturing company VAE group was acquired by Voestalpine AG and Vossloh.[4][5]

However recession in the 1990s resulted in the sale of the non-'recession-resilient' decorative products division to Arquati S.p.a of Italy in 1997. Under company CEO Burkhard Schuchmann Vossloh was re-orientated as a rail industry based company during and after the 1990s; In 2002 the lighting division was sold to Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd. of Osaka, Japan,[4][5][6] and the company expanded into the rail industry market with a number of acquisitions:[4]

At the end of 2005 Burkard Schuchmann is succeeded by Dr. Gerhard Eschenröder as CEO until 2007 when Werner Andree replaces him. The subsidiarie, Vossloh Information Technologies GmbH was sold (February 2007) to Funkwerk AG. The company continued to expand; its first acquisition in North America was Pohl Corp (switch manufacturer), followed by Cleveland Track Material Inc., both acquired in 2007. A 100% stake in French rail infrastructure company (ETF) was also obtained in 2007. The same year the company opened a rail fastening subsidiary in China.[4]

In 2008 Vossloh infrastructure services is sold to the VINCI group of companies - this included the infrastructure parts of Cogifer SA acquired in 2002 as well as Européenne de Travaux Ferroviaires SA.[4][7]

Further railroad switch manufacturers were acquired :TLK Rail (Australia) in 2007, Sportek (Denmark) and Kloos Oving B.V. (Netherlands) in 2008, and the switch and rail manufacturing parts of the Nouva Sima Sud company (Italy) in 2009.[4]

In 2009 the company enters the rail services market in Germany, forming Vossloh Rail Services GmbH from the rail maintenance parts of Stahlberg-Roensch Group in addition to LOG Logistikgesellschaft Gleisbau mbH and ISB Instandhaltungssysteme Bahn GmbH.[4] A rail milling and grinding joint venture Vossloh MFL Rail Milling GmbH, was formed in association with Maschinenfabrik Liezen und Giesserei in 2012.[8]

In mid 2013 Knorr Bremse owner Heinz Hermann Thiele became chairman of the Vossloh board, after having raised his shareholding in the company from below 5% to over 10% in Mar. 2011, and to over 25% in 2013. Thiele's election to chair was opposed by the Vossloh family who own over 30% of the shares.[9] In November 2013 the Vossloh family unexpectedly sold 22% of its shareholding, reducing their holding to under 10% and leaving Heinz Hermann Thiele as the main shareholder in the company.[10]

In 2014 the company began a restructuring. New executive board members were introduced and high level management numbers were reduced by a third, and talks started on general workforce redundancies.[11][12] The transfer of locomotive production in Kiel to a more modern site was also under investigation, with three sites identified. In June 2014 Kieler Nachrichten reported that an offer had been made for Voith's locomotive plant,[13][note 1] however in July the company announced it was to build a new plant at a cost of €30 million in the Suchsdorf area of Kiel.[17] A groundbreaking ceremony for the new plant took place 17 July 2015.[18]

In December 2014 the company announced it intended to divest its transportation division.[19][20] The rail-vehicles division was announced as sold to Stadler in late 2015.[21]

Company structure

As of 2010 the company is divided into two main divisions.[22]

The rail infrastructure division comprises the rail fastening and switch companies (Vossloh Fastening Systems GmbH and Vossloh Cogifer SA), and from 2009 a rail services (maintenance) company Vossloh Rail Services GmbH.

The Transportation division (formerly Motive Power and Components[23]) comprising Vossloh Locomotives GmbH, Vossloh España S.A., and Vossloh Kiepe GmbH. (Vossloh Rail Vehicles, formerly Vossloh España was sold in late 2015.[21])

Vossloh Fastening Systems

The fastening systems division produces devices for attaching rails to sleepers for high speed, heavy and light railways. The division includes Vossloh Fastening Systems GmbH (Werdohl Germany), Delkor Rail Pty. Ltd. (Australia),[24] Patil Vossloh Rail Systems Pvt. Ltd. (joint venture with Patil Group of India), Vossloh Sistemi s.r.l. (Italy), TOO "Vossloh-Kaz" (Russia), Vossloh Utenzilija d.d. (Croatia), Vossloh Skamo Sp. z o.o. (Poland), Vossloh Tehnika Feroviara S.R.L. (Romania), Vossloh Drážní Technika s.r.o. (Czech Republic), Vossloh Rail Technology Limitet Sirketi (Turkey), Feder-7 GmbH (Hungary) and Vossloh Fastening Systems America Corporation (Chicago, USA).[25]

Vossloh Cogifer

Vossloh Cogifer SA produces railway switches as well as railway signalling systems.[26] The rail switch group also includes the subsidiaries Vossloh Nordic Switch systems AB (Sweden), KIHN (Luxembourg), Vossloh Track Material Inc. (Wilmington USA) and Cleveland Track Material Inc. (Cleveland USA) and Vossloh Cogifer Australia Pty., as well as two joint ventures Corus Cogifer Switches and Crossings,[27] (Scunthorpe, UK) and Amurrio Ferrocarril y Equipos SA (Spain).[28]

From 2012 Corus Cogifer Switches and Crossings was rebranded as VTS Track Technology Ltd. due to the acquisition of Corus by Tata Steel and of Cogifer by Vossloh.[29]

Vossloh is a majority shareholder in a joint venture with the Argentine state owned infrastructure company ADIFSE called Vossloh Cogifer Argentina SA created in 2013, with a production plant located near the city of La Plata.[30]

Vossloh Locomotives

Vossloh G2000 BB Diesel-hydraulic locomotive

Vossloh Locomotives GmbH, the former MaK locomotive plant in Kiel produces diesel hydraulic locomotives, for freight and shunting purposes.[31]

The factory's main production up to 2009 was diesel hydraulic locomotives of type Vossloh G1000 BB, Vossloh G1206, Vossloh G1700 BB and Vossloh G2000 BB. The company's major orders included G1206/1700 variants for the French (SNCF Class BB 61000[32]) and Swiss railways (SBB Am 843[33]).

A three axle shunting locomotive, type Vossloh G6 was introduced in 2008, in 2009 the company announced to the intention to offer diesel electric or diesel hydraulic variant of four axle centre cab locomotives in two power ranges: G 12 or DE 12 and G 18 or DE 18[34] (approximately corresponding to the power ranges of the G1206 and G1700 versions.)

Vossloh Kiepe

Main article: Vossloh Kiepe

Vossloh Kiepe GmbH produces electrical systems for light rail, trolleybuses and hybrid buses including electric propulsion and control, air conditioning and heating as well as passenger rail vehicle refurbishment and modernisation.[35]

Vossloh Rail Services

Vossloh Rail Services provides railway track infrastructure maintenance such as rail grinding, welding, replacement and testing.[36] The division was formed in 2010 with the acquisition of parts of the Stahlberg-Roensch Group and Logistikgesellschaft Gleisbau mbH and Instandhaltungssysteme Bahn GmbH from the Contrack Group.[37]

Spin-offs, divestments, and subsidiaries

See also: Angel Trains

In 2000 Vossloh and Angel Trains formed a locomotive leasing business - Locomotion Partners consisting of two companies:

The companies would not exclusively hire and service only Vossloh locomotives, and would act independently, depending on the circumstances.[38] In 2004 the 10% stake in Locomotion capital Ltd. was sold and the stake in Locomotion Service GmbH increased to 100%.[4]

Vossloh Rail Vehicles

See also: Vossloh España

Vossloh Rail Vehicles (formerly Vossloh España S.A.) was acquired from Alstom c.2005. The former Meinfesa plant produced diesel electric locomotives as well as passenger multiple units, trams and bogies.[39]

The company's locomotive output has included the SNCF BB 460000[40] (in cooperation with Alstom) and Vossloh Euro locomotives.

In 2010 the company launched a new locomotive type: the diesel electric Eurolight locomotive, designed for railways requiring axleloads less than 20t, and with either 2.3 or 2.8MW installed engine power.[41] In September 2012, Vossloh unveiled a mockup of the "Desert Hawk" locomotive, a single ended development of its Euro locomotive design intended for use in push-pull passenger trains in hot and sandy conditions.[42] The rail-vehicles division was announced as sold to Stadler in late 2015.[21]

See also


  1. Voith was reported as looking to sell its Kiel plant in 2013.[14] Voith decided to close the plant after an order of 130 locomotives (Voith Gravita) for Deutsche Bahn was completed, with no other orders; the plant had been established c.2005.[15][16]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Annual Report 2010" (PDF). Vossloh. Retrieved 13 April 2011.
  2. Annual Report 2007
  3. System 300 Rail fastening systems for slab track www.vossloh-fastening-systems.de
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Vossloh group history , www.vossloh.com
  5. 1 2 3 4 Vossloh AG , company history via www.fundinguniverse.com
  6. Vossloh to focus on transport technology, Complete disposal of Lighting division planned 10 April 2002 , www.vossloh.com
  7. VINCI : 2008 , www.vinci.com
  8. "Rail milling joint venture formed", www.railwaygazette.com, 12 April 2012
  9. Sources:
  10. "Vossloh-Familie zieht die Notbremse", boerse.ard.de (in German), 27 November 2013
  11. Briginshaw, David (27 June 2014), "Restructuring to plunge Vossloh into red this year", www.railjournal.com
  12. Vossloh creates conditions for a sustainably successful and profitable business development (PDF) (press release), Vossloh, 27 June 2014
  13. Genoux, Jörn (27 June 2014), "Vossloh baut Kieler Lokwerk um", www.kn-online.de (in German)
  14. "Kieler Lokwerk: Käufer-Suche läuft weiter", www.ndr.de (in German), 10 September 2013
  15. Genoux, Jörn (18 January 2014), "Voith baut keine Loks mehr in Kiel", www.kn-online.de (in German)
  16. DB German Railways rates Voith as "Outstanding" (press release), Voith
  17. Hamel, Oliver (24 July 2014), "Vossloh bekennt sich zu Kiel", www.kn-online.de (in German)
  18. Barrow, Keith (20 July 2015), "Vossloh breaks ground on new locomotive plant", www.railjournal.com
  19. Vossloh to hive off 500 mln eur trains unit in overhaul, 2 December 2014
  20. "Vossloh to sell rolling stock division", www.railwaygazette.com, 2 December 2014
  21. 1 2 3 "Vossloh Rail Vehicles sold to Stadler", www.railwaygazette.com, 4 November 2015
  22. Vossol : Divisions , www.vossloh.com
  23. Vossloh annual report 2009 , p.89 , www.vossloh.com
  24. Delkorail www.delkorail.com
  25. Vossloh fastening systems : Locations www.vossloh-fastening-systems.de
  26. "Vossloh Cogifer", www.vossloh-cogifer.com
  27. "Corus Cogifer", www.coruscogifer.com, archived from the original on 10 December 2011
  28. Vossloh annual report 2009 , p.156 , www.vossloh.com
  29. "VTS launches New Brand!", vtstt.com, 1 January 2012
  30. Vossloh expands in Brazil and Argentina - Railway Gazette, 23 January 2013.
  31. Vossloh Locomotives www.vossloh-locomotives.com
  32. Les BB 61000 Vossloh ferrovi-est.ifrance.com
  33. Major award for Vossloh Schienenfahrzeugtechnik GmbH from the Swiss railways (SBB), 10 July 2002, www.vossloh.com
  34. Vossloh position paper 2009, pp.16-17, www.vossloh.com
  35. Vossloh Kiepe www.vossloh-kiepe.com
  36. Vossloh Rail Services www.vossloh-rail-services.com
  37. "Vossloh closes acquisition of rail services business" (Press release). Vossloh. 2 May 2010.
  38. 07/14/2000 Angel Trains announces the creation of Locomotion Capital in association with German group Vossloh Vossloh.com
  39. Vossloh Rail Vehicles www.vossloh-espana.com
  40. Shunting Diesel-Electric Locomotives GA 1000 AS www.vossloh-espana.com
  41. "Vossloh launches Euro Light loco.(News)". elibrary.ibtimes.com. International Railway Journal. 1 July 2010.
  42. "Desert Hawk passenger locomotive mock-up on show - Railway Gazette". Railway Gazette International. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
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