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The SD70ACe: Environmentally friendly locomotive offers high reliability, state-of-the-art ergonomics, EMD says

On June 20, General Motors Corp.'s (GM) Electro-Motive Division (EMD) unveiled a new diesel locomotive designed to surpass U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-mandated emissions regulations for the rail industry, or the so-called "Tier 2" requirements.

Sporting a modified EMD 710 diesel engine, the "SD70ACe" also features advanced self-diagnostics and predictive health capabilities.

"In addition to our intense focus on delivering high reliability, we are setting new standards for locomotive maintainability," said Bill Happel, GM vice president and EMD general manager, in a prepared statement. "Customer feedback is already supporting the investment we have made in making the SD70ACe locomotive much easier to diagnose and repair."

The 4,300-horsepower, 408,000-pound, AC-traction SD70ACe also features a customer-critiqued cab design that is ergonomically state-of-the-art for both operators and maintainers, EMD said. And the locomotive can be enhanced with the locomotive builder's optional IntelliTrain locomotive monitoring system, which enables railroads to track locomotives using a Global Positioning Satellite, remotely monitor locomotive health and operational status, and locate and diagnose potential repair problems.

The first four SD70ACe locomotives recently were built at EMD's London, Ontario, plant, and "are being used to verify that all performance and reliability requirements are satisfied," according to EMD. The company plans to test the units for a year at Association of American Railroads' Transportation Technology Center Inc. in Pueblo, Colo.

EMD will produce 20 or more demonstration units by June 2004, then begin testing SD70ACes on several Class Is. The company plans to begin production deliveries in January 2005 (in time for Tier 2's effective date).

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 6/20/2003