Cummins QSK95 for Freight

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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The Cummins QSK95 has become a major player in the passenger rail space, powering Siemens Charger diesel-electric locomotives with responsiveness, reliability and a low cost of operation. This 16-cylinder, high-speed diesel power plant has excelled in the harshest of operating conditions, including brutal arctic winters and scorching summer heat, while enabling the locomotive and passenger cars to achieve an operating speed greater than 125 mph. Currently there are 84 locomotives in revenue service with 762,500+ hours run and more than 13 million miles.

The freight locomotive industry has taken notice, recognizing the potential this engine technology has for long-haul applications. But no one risks that kind of investment on unproven technology.

Playing Percentages

Compared to traditional medium-speed (900 rpm) diesels, the QSK95 is up to 30% lighter and offers 42% lower heat rejection, with 44% lower oil consumption. The biggest impact on the bottom line comes from its 7% reduction in total fuel consumption, compared to Tier 4 medium-speed engines. Freight locomotive customers repowering older, Tier 1-compliant locomotives will see NOX emissions drop by up to 89%, with 97% fewer hydrocarbons (HC) and a 98% reduction in Particulate Matter (PM).

Quiet and Efficient

The QSK95’s Modular Common Rail Fuel System (MCRS) maintains high injection pressure regardless of engine speed for exceptional controlled performance across the entire power range, with impressive load pickup and improved response while reducing the excessive noise and vibration inherent with mechanical fuel injection systems. This advanced design yields very low noise at idle and light load operations, which can be a key environmental benefit, especially in urban operations, for the railroad and its yard workers and surrounding communities.

Adaptability and Compatibility

We know most freight locomotive manufacturers serve the global marketplace, driving variation in emissions regulations needs depending on where the equipment operates. The QSK95 can be configured for EPA Tier 3 and Tier 4, and EU (European Union) Stage IIIA, IIIB and V applications, making the manufacturer’s installation procedure simpler due to adaptability.

Key Features

  • Ductile cast iron blocks cast in Germany.
  • Forged steel pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft.
  • Rigid 6-point direct-block mounting hydraulically tensioned cylinder heads.
  • Advanced power-cylinder design for life to overhaul durability.
  • 2,200 bar clean-burn Modular Common Rail Fuel System (MCRS).
  • Two-stage aftercooling for reduced radiator size and cost.
  • Four single-stage turbochargers for responsive performance.
  • 184-day service intervals with convenient cartridge replacements for efficient service events.
  • Coupled with PrevenTech connected analytics for prognostics and conditioned-based maintenance.

Ease of Integration, Installation

  • The QSK95 has 184-day service intervals and utilizes gen 7 lube oils.
  • The QSK95 uses DEF, which is a proven, widely available technology to lower emissions.
  • The base engine allows for ease of interchange to EPA Tier 4, EU Stage IIIB and Stage V through addition of SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) aftertreatment, allowing 1) Cleaner combustion with readily available urea-based DEF; 2) Engine recalibration for maximum fuel economy; and 3) Retention of Tier 3/Stage IIIA reliability and durability with no increase in cylinder pressure or heat rejection.

Key Dimensions

  • Power range: 4,000-4,400 hp (2,983-3,281 kW)
  • Peak torque: 11,671-12,838 lb.-ft. (15,824-17,406 Nm)
  • Bore and stroke: 7.48 in x 8.27 in. (190 mm x 210 mm)
  • Engine weight (dry): 30,261 lbs. (13,726 kg)

Power Sharing for Performance

The QSK95 is ready to be paired with energy storage systems that can deliver even more fuel savings in line-haul freight applications when used in combination with other power sources such as batteries or fuel cells. With more than 600 branches and 7,200 service locations around the world, the Cummins network of distributors and authorized dealers is the backbone of our high-quality service. Cummins rail-trained experts can provide you with local support, wherever you are. To learn more, visit

A Commitment to Innovation

Cummins is committed to innovation through the implementation of its newest business unit, New Power, as well as through many other developments, including the acquisition of Hydrogenics Corporation and an investment in Loop Energy. Formed in 2017, New Power is the newest Cummins business segment and brings together all of the company’s electrification resources to increase visibility of and accountability for their investments and performance in this growing market. While hydrogen fuel cell technology may be just one of many new technologies that the New Power business unit at Cummins is focusing on, it has particular benefits that are noteworthy for the rail industry, including high energy density and quick refuel times that make this technology a good fit for applications with long daily ranges. Cummins proved the viability of this technology in the rail space by powering the Alstom Coradia iLint, the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell-powered passenger train. Visit to learn more.

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