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By Jeff Stagl, Managing Editor
The seven Class Is will be active power shoppers in 2008, either purchasing or leasing a total of 690 locomotives.
BNSF Railway Co. leads the pack with plans to purchase 275 units. The Class I will acquire 165 SD70ACe units from Electro-Motive Diesel Inc. (EMD) and 110 ES44DC units from GE – Transportation.
The 4,300-horsepower SD70ACe is equipped with EMD’s 16-710G3C-T2 engine and is certified to meet the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Tier 2 emission standards.
The next-highest total comes from Union Pacific Railroad, which plans to acquire 175 high-horsepower locomotives. The Class I declined to provide makes and models.
CSX Corp. will crack triple digits, too.
The Class I will purchase 100 locomotives from GE, evenly split between AC- and DC-traction models, says spokesman Gary Sease.
Meanwhile, Kansas City Southern expects to acquire 65 locomotives for its two railroads. The company will lease 30 EMD SD70ACe units for The Kansas City Southern Railway Co. and purchase 30 GE AC4400CW units for Kansas City Southern de México S.A. de C.V. (KCSM). KCS also will take delivery of five SD70ACe units for KCSM that are carryovers from a 2007 order, says spokesperson Doniele Kane.
At Canadian Pacific Railway, ’08 power purchase plans include taking delivery of 40 AC-traction GE Evolution™ Series units, while Canadian National Railway Co. will acquire 20 Evolution Series models.
The 4,400-horsepower Evolution Series units feature GE’s GEVO 12-cylinder engine that’s designed to provide the same amount of power as the company’s 16-cylinder FDL engine but consume less fuel and emit fewer pollutants. The locomotives also meet the EPA’s Tier 2 requirements.
Finally, Norfolk Southern Railway had planned to purchase 15 GE ES40 locomotives in early 2008.