November 06, 2015

US states purchase new diesel-electric locos

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THE states of California, Illinois and Maryland have placed orders for 34 Siemens Charger diesel-electric locomotives to boost passenger services in their states under an option included in a framework contract for 222 units signed in 2014.

Specifically the California Department of Transportation has ordered 14 locomotives for the Pacific Surfliner Amtrak service from San Luis Obispo to San Diego via Santa Barbara and Los Angeles. The Illinois Department of Transportation has ordered 12 units, and Maryland Transit Administration eight locomotives for its Marc commuter service which serves Baltimore, Brunswick, Frederick, Martinsburg, and Washington, DC.

The 200km/h locomotives will be built at Siemens' plant in Sacramento, California. They will feature a 16-cylinder, 3.28MW Cummins diesel engine built in Columbus, Indiana, and traction motors and gearboxes built in Norwood, Ohio, and power converters in Alpharetta, Georgia to meet "Buy American" regulations.

Siemens says a microprocessor control system manages the locomotive's performance and performs self diagnosis to make self-corrective actions during operations. It can also notify the locomotive's driver and maintenance facility of any required service measures. In addition, a traction converter is available to provide backup power supply to passenger coaches as well as lighting, communications, heating and cooling.

The original $US 225m order for 32 diesel-electric locomotives was placed by the Departments of Transportation in Illinois, California, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington in 2014.

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