UK Freight operator Freightliner has ordered 30 locomotives from GE. At last a competitor for EMD in Europe. Freightliner order 30 General Electric Genesis JS37ACi locomotives Freightliner Group has placed an order for 30 freight locomotives of a new design giving greater hauling capacity and a significant improvement in fuel economy than currently seen on the UK network. Project Genesis, which is being developed in partnership with General Electric (GE), will bring new technology to the UK rail freight market, enabling Freightliner to move longer and heavier trains whilst reducing CO2 emissions per tonne moved. Starting in mid 2009, Freightliner will utilise the most advanced locomotive product in the industry while GE - Transportation will enter the UK rail freight market for the first time. The innovative design offers an array of new features, including AC traction technology and dynamic braking. GE - Transportation’s JS37ACi locomotives allow Freightliner to increase its hauling capacity while lowering fuel consumption by an estimated 10 percent compared to the current locos in its fleet. This substantial investment, the largest loco order ever placed by Freightliner, fits well with the DfT’s recently published strategy document ‘Towards a sustainable future’ which sets out the transport system's role in supporting continued economic growth and making a key contribution to the Government aim of a 60% CO2 emissions reduction by 2050, The new locomotives enable both economic growth and lower emissions. The driving cabs of the new loco will bring new standards of comfort to drivers, with air-conditioning as standard. Freightliner have kept the Trade Unions involved (including RMT and ASLEF) and will involve groups of drivers for input into the design and build of the cab. Eddie Fitzsimons, Chief Executive, Freightliner Group Ltd said; “We are extremely excited about Project Genesis. Not only will we improve our carbon footprint but will be able to move more payload per train than ever before. We have been in discussions with GE over recent months to develop what will be the epitome of 21st century locos on the UK network, bringing revolutionary technology the to rail freight market.” Robert Parisi, General Manager of International Locomotives and Modernizations, GE - Transportation said; “We are pleased to enter the UK market for the first time and introduce our advanced locomotive product. It’s exciting to provide solutions to our customer’s needs.” Tim Shakerley, Engineering Director, Freightliner Group Ltd added; “We recognise that a locomotive is a 30 year asset and therefore development of new technology is important to ensure the locomotive is up to date and relevant for its design life. Packaging this technology into a locomotive compliant to the UK clearance gauge and axle weight is a tremendous challenge but we are confident that GE can achieve this.” Technical details Body - Narrow Body with exterior walkway Length Over Buffers - 23,000 mm Height (over operator cab) - 3,917 mm Width (over cab sides) - 2,642 mm Total Weight - 126 tonnes Axle Configuration - Co-Co Gross Horsepower - 2750 kW (3686 hp) Maximum Speed - 120 kph / 75mph Maximum Starting Tractive Effort - 534 kN Wheel Diameter - 1,067 mm Fuel Capacity (usable) - 6,000 litres / 1320 Gallons Engine - GE J616 Alternator - GE GTA series Traction Motors - AC - GE 5GEB30 Bogies - Fabricated frame with axle hung motors Air Brakes - Dynamic Electronic - EAB Control System - GE CCA – Common Control Architecture Diagnostics -Self Testing with diagnostic display panel Traction The traction motors are individually controlled via separate inverters. Consequently this leads to better power distribution based on available adhesion and the use of the AC motor with its better torque-speed curve means the loco has a much higher starting torque which means it has a greater starting tractive effort. Dynamic Brakes The locomotive is fitted with rheostatic (dynamic) brake. When slowing it uses the traction motors to regenerate energy and put electric current back into the locomotive, using the electric current to drive the auxiliary motors. This is the first time it has ever been applied in a diesel loco in the UK. Cabs Dual cabs with left of centre operator desk, and air conditioning as standard. The engine is resiliently mounted to reduce vibration. Cabs are sound insulated and driver information is provided by MMI screens. Fuel efficiencies The locomotive is 7% more fuel-efficient than previous locomotives achieving 197g/kwh. By using the energy dissipated by the dynamic brakes to drive the auxiliaries, and controlling the auxiliaries separate from the engine speed, a further 3 % efficiency is gained. It is therefore 10% more efficient than previous locos. Diagnostics The locomotive will be fitted with remote dial up software which allows GE to monitor the performance, troubleshoot and find problems before anyone knows they are happening, and dispatch a technician with the correct parts to the location where the loco is going to finish its journey for preventative maintenance.