Tuesday, December 28, 2010

General Electric ships more 'PowerHaul' locomotives to the UK

General Electric or GE has dispatched 5 more locomotives from its plant at Erie, Pennsylvania, to the UK. Commissioned in November 2007 by the British freight operator Freightliner Group, the first two locomotives - numbers 70001 and 70002 - arrived in Britain on 8 November 2009 and given the name 'PowerHaul' at Leeds later that month. On 11 December 2009, 70001 made its first run on a freight train, hauling 30 wagons with 60 ISO containers. The current batch makes a total of 12 sent to the UK so far. Eventually the class will consist of 30 units. They are the first locomotives that GE has built for the UK.

PowerHaul diesel-electrics are noted for their energy performance: 9% less fuel used compared to the competition, and 9% less emissions, but remain powerful with their 129 ton weight and prime mover output of 2,750 kW (3700 hp). The secret of energy efficiency relies on the use of 'Trip Optimization' technology, which optimizes the speed according to the zone of travel, and employment of the latest 16-cylinder engine with high efficiency. The latter was presented at InnoTrans 2008 in Germany, the biggest railway event in the world.

These locomotives have a casual resemblance to KiwiRail's new DL locomotives which may lead some to speculate that it isn't coincidence - after all, British practices are still highly influential among NZ officialdom.

While on the subject of GE, here is a kind of advert/game/history lesson on its website.

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