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3/6/2002



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CN orders 60 higher-horsepower locomotives from GE


Canadian National Railway Co. March 6 announced plans to purchase 60 4,400-horsepower DASH 9-44CW locomotives from GE Transportation Systems, with delivery proceeding in phases through 2004.
The locomotives will improve CN's asset utilization and increase operating efficiencies, said Dennis Waller, vice-president-engineering and mechanical, in a prepared statement, adding that the power units will increase efficiency 18 percent and lower maintenance costs 35 percent compared with older locomotives.
CN plans to displace up to 50 older 3,000-horsepower, mainline locomotives for each group of 30 new DASH 9s. New locomotives would be dedicated to mainline service across CN's system; older mainline units would be used for cascading to less-demanding service.
Since beginning a locomotive-upgrade program in 1995, CN acquired 384 new locomotives, lowering the average age of its mainline fleet to
about 13 years compared with nearly 18 years in early 1995.
Per a 1997 locomotive-maintenance agreement with GE, CN plans to maintain the DASH 9s principally at its Symington Shops in Winnipeg, Manitoba, as well as at shops in Toronto; Edmonton, Alberta; Chicago; and Memphis, Tenn.
As part of the 60-unit purchase, CN recently expanded the agreement, which called for GE to manage maintenance of CN's high-horsepower DASH 8 and DASH 9 fleet. CN employees will continue to maintain the locomotives and GE will act as consultant.


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