BRAZILIAN freight operator Vale and Wabtec have announced a 10-year agreement worth Reais 1.8bn ($US 340m) to optimise maintenance services for the 97 Evolution Series (EVO) locomotives operated by the Carajás Railway (EFC).

The goal is to improve the performance and reliability of the fleet to potentially expand heavy-haul freight service on the EFC, which runs from iron ore mines in the southeast of Pará to the capital of Maranhão state, the port of São Luís.

Wabtec will analyse EFC locomotive performance data from the last three years. The company also will perform real-time monitoring of 5000 separate parameters, evaluating the data to identify opportunities to improve performance and optimise maintenance.

In addition to planning and supplying spare parts for preventive maintenance, the agreement foresees the creation of specialist jobs in São Luís.