Under the framework contract, GE will supply 30 complete six-axle TE 33AC Evolution Series diesel-electric locomotives, with further locomotives supplied as kits over a 10-year period. GE will also be responsible for modernising UZ’s legacy fleet and providing maintenance services.

Production of the first TE33AC locomotives will begin in the US within the next few weeks and deliveries will begin in the autumn, with the final locomotive from the initial batch of 30 units due to arrive in Ukraine in the first quarter of 2019.

UZ says the level of localisation in production will ultimately reach 40%.

A TE33A underwent trials on the UZ network at the end of 2016. The type is already in service in Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

The 3.36MW 120km/h locomotives for UZ will be equipped with microprocessor control, remote diagnostics, electronic fuel injection, climate-controlled cabs, passive cab collision protection, an ergonomic bathroom, a fridge and an oven.

UZ says its current fleet of 609 main line freight diesels is fully-depreciated, with an average age of 31 years.