GE ships its first European PowerHaul rail locos to the UK

US railway locomotive builder GE Transportation has shipped its first PowerHaul global-class freight locos into the European market. The two locos are part of an order from UK rail operator Freightliner Group.

Appropriately enough, the two locomotives are travelling by rail to Norfolk, Virginia, from where they will be shipped to South Wales. Freightliner ordered 30 PowerHauls in November 2007, and four more are due to ship in November 2009.

The 129-ton PowerHaul series is designed to generate more horsepower and tractive effort than locomotives in use, while also claiming lower fuel consumption and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Its 3,7000-horsepower twin-turbo V16 engine is a product of Ecomagination, a GE-wide initiative to develop more energy-efficient products.

GE claims too that its unique AC individual-axle traction-control technology enables the PowerHaul Series to haul heavier loads by significantly reducing slippage on start-ups, inclines and suboptimal track conditions.
It said that the locomotives also feature dual air-conditioned, low-noise operator cabs, which were designed for comfort and efficiency in a European style, featuring easy-to-read gauges and an unobstructed front-windshield for a clear track view.

All 30 of the locomotives ordered by Freightliner will be built in Pennsylvania, but GE Transportation has also signed a deal with Tülomsas in Turkey for the assembly of subsequent PowerHaul locomotives for the European, Middle East and North African markets. A GE spokesman said production in Turkey is expected to begin at the end of 2010.

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