Colas Rail orders 10 GE Class 70 PowerHauls

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief

GE Transportation and Colas Rail Ltd., one of Europe’s largest providers of rail infrastructure services, have signed an agreement for GE to provide 10 Class 70 UK PowerHaul Series locomotives.

“The PowerHaul, an ecomagination-qualified product, delivers best-in-class haulage and fuel efficiency as well as compliance with the EU Stage IIIA emissions standards,” GE said. “Since its debut in the United Kingdom in 2009, the PowerHaul Series locomotive has expanded its global presence to continental Europe and beyond to Asia and Australia. GE currently has 19 PowerHaul Series locomotives operating in the UK. “

Designed for high pulling power to support lighter axle-load applications, the Class 70 PowerHaul, equipped with a twin-turbo 3,700-GHP (2,750 kW) V-16 diesel engine, six axles, an advanced AC traction system, and dynamic braking, “is engineered such that it generates 13% more horsepower, 32% more starting tractive effort, and 61% more continuous tractive effort compared to Class 66 fleets currently operating in the UK,” GE said. “The locomotive also reduces fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 9% compared to current operating fleet averages.”

GE worked with Ricardo UK Ltd. to conduct a fuel test for the Class 70 PowerHaul. “Analysis of the test results showed that the Class 70 PowerHaul reduces annual fuel consumption by up to 18% compared to the Class 66, under the typical freight-use duty cycle,” GE said. “This avoids the consumption of over 218,000 liters of fuel and approximately 585 metric tons of associated CO2 emissions. Further significant fuel savings could be made by the Class 70 when closing down the engine during extended idling using the automatic engine stop/start (AESS) system and Auxiliary Power Unit (APU), or by using power from the dynamic brake being used for driving auxiliary loads.”

“GE is proud to partner with Colas Rail in providing the PowerHaul Series locomotive’s advanced technology that can be adapted to local needs,” said GE Transportation President and CEO Russell Stokes. “This is the latest example of how GE is working with its customers to provide the most technologically advanced rail products that will help Colas Rail realize its operational goals.”

“This order by Colas Rail demonstrates our commitment to significantly develop and grow our freight haulage business, putting us at the forefront of technology benefiting from a significant increase in tractive effort to haul heavier trains across steep inclines with reduced fuel burn,” said Colas Rail Managing Director Stephen Haynes. “We have invested in new technology and will work in partnership with GE Transportation to bring these locomotives into service in 2014. This increase in capacity will allow us to serve an expanding portfolio of customers and contracts, delivering the highest levels of service.”

The PowerHaul Series was originally developed for U.K. and European railroads. “With its flexible platform and performance benefits, the PowerHaul Series now delivers superior life-cycle cost benefits and regional customization to customers worldwide,” GE said. “It has provided significant haulage benefits that can be used on many routes, compared to other diesel models, and can haul heavier trains up steeper inclines, at higher speeds.”

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