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<< Rail News Home: Mechanical

4/6/2004    Freight News



Rail News: Mechanical

EMD begins revenue-service tests on environmentally friendly SD70ACe




After spending the past nine months logging millions of kilowatt-hours at Association of American Railroads' Transportation Technology Center Inc. in Pueblo, Colo., Electro-Motive Division's (EMD) new SD70ACe locomotive is entering revenue-service tests. Last week, Kansas City Southern began using two units to move coal trains.

"Initially, [the] units are being used in helper service where they are repeatedly exercised at very high tractive effort levels as they push heavy coal trains up the 1.5 percent grade from Heavener, Okla., to the top of Rich Mountain," says EMD Director of Market Development and Communications Curt Swenson. "The new locomotives have performed flawlessly in this demanding service."

The 4,300-horsepower SD70ACes use an alternating current or AC-traction system designed to provide continuous tractive effort of 157,000 pounds to move heavy coal and higher speed intermodal trains. A division of General Motors Corp., EMD also offers a direct current or DC-traction system for lower tractive operations.

The SD70ACe is designed to surpass U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-mandated emissions regulations or "Tier 2" requirements. Introduced in June 2003, the locomotive features a modified EMD 710 diesel engine, advanced self-diagnostics, predictive health capabilities and an ergonomic cab design. The locomotive can be enhanced with EMD's optional IntelliTrain monitoring system, which is designed to track a locomotive via a Global Positioning System, remotely monitor health and operational status, and diagnose potential repair problems.

KCS plans to use the SD70ACes as helper units or distributed power between Pittsburg, Kan., and DeQueen, Ark., or Shreveport, La. EMD officials chose the Class I to conduct the tests because of grade elevation and train-weight challenges on some of the railroad's lines.

EMD plans to conduct revenue-service tests on other North American railroads later this year and begin production deliveries of the SD70ACe in January 2005, when Tier 2 regulations take effect.




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