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9/29/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

NS takes wraps off electric locomotive, KCSM takes delivery of 'Repower' units


Yesterday, Norfolk Southern Corp. unveiled a prototype 1,500-horsepower, electric switching locomotive at its Juniata Locomotive Shop in Altoona, Pa. The switcher is designed to use rechargeable batteries to generate power.

The Class I developed the prototype in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Railroad Administration and Pennsylvania State University. Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) helped secure $1.3 million in federal funding for prototype development.

The locomotive features a lead-acid energy storage system comprising 1,080 12-volt batteries. The plug-in switcher also can regenerate dynamic braking energy through a system provided by Brookville Equipment Co. Batteries are monitored and controlled, and when fully charged, the locomotive can operate through three shifts before recharging is required.

Meanwhile, Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V. (KCSM) held a ceremony earlier this month in Monterrey, Mexico, to mark the delivery of six 710ECO™ Repower locomotives — the first of 16 KCSM plans to place in service. Three of the units will be used in Matamoros, two in Monterrey and one in San Juan del Rio; the next six to be delivered will be used in Saltillo, KCSM said.

Produced by Electro-Motive Diesel Inc., the 710ECO Repower locomotives are part of a total of 27 units Kansas City Southern is converting from 40-year-old SD40 and GP40 units to SD22ECO units. The locomotives will feature microprocessor-controlled locomotive engines to reduce emissions, increase fuel economy and reliability, and cut maintenance costs.


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