The automated system, which records data, analyses route topology and conditions, and creates an fuel-efficient operating plan is expected to save Real 35m ($US 10.7m) annually.

The locomotives are used on Vale’s Carajás railway, which connects Vale’s mines in the southeast of Pará state to the Ponta de Madeira Maritime Terminal in Maranhão state.

Original tests recorded fuel savings of up to 2.45% but Vale expects to save 9.4m litres of B8 diesel by 2019, as well as reducing CO2 emissions by 22,700 tonnes annually.

GE’s solution aims to determine the appropriate time to accelerate or brake, taking into account for train length, weight, track quality and conditions to achieve the greatest fuel efficiency.

Trip Optimizer has previously been installed on locomotives in the United States, Canada, Australia, China, and Mexico.