GE rolls out first Ukraine TE33A

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Kasachstan Temir Scholy (Kazakhstan Railways) class TE33A between Aynabulak and Taurasy, Kazakhstan. Photo by David Gubler/ Kabelleger.

GE Transportation and Ukrainian Railways on July 9 marked the first GE Evolution Series TE33A locomotive to be built as part of a framework agreement signed in early 2018. It is the first of 30 locomotives that are being built this year in support of the railroad’s effort to upgrade its fleet. “Items of exploration” under the framework agreement include additional locomotives over 10 years, modernization of locomotives in the railway’s legacy fleet, as well as long-term maintenance services.

The new locomotives “will support significant demand for Ukrainian commodities,” GE said. “Ukraine is a top-10 global producer of wheat and corn, as well as a top-15 steel producer. Ukrainian Railways needs the locomotives to haul bulk agricultural goods and metals products to market. With more than 90% of the country’s current diesel fleet past its planned service life, the framework agreement provides an opportunity to improve network capacity, boost exports to global markets, and further drive long-term economic growth.”

The TE33A features a 12-cylinder, 4,500-hp Evolution Series engine, delivering “high power output, enhanced productivity, greater flexibility, lower lifecycle costs, and improved reliability in heavy-haul operations,” compared to the legacy Ukrainian fleet, GE noted “It can significantly reduce harmful emissions, economize on fuel and oil costs, and increase time between maintenance overhauls.”

The TE33A was designed for the 1,520 mm (4 feet, 11.85 inch) Russian Gauge market, in particular to replace the 2TE10. Russian GOST Standards and Safety Norms (English: SUST, State Union Standard) were used in its development, and the locomotive is designed to use GOST-standard fuel and lubricants.

The double-cab locomotives are among the first diesel-electrics with AC traction motors to operate in the Commonwealth of Independent States (after the 2TE25A, built by Bryansk Engineering Works, Transmashholding, Russia). The TE33A is certified by the UIC to meet EU IIIa emissions standards, and reduce particulate emissions by approximately 75% and NOx emissions by 35% per kilowatt-hour when compared to a 2TE10.

“This locomotive represents the next step in Ukraine’s long working relationship with GE,” said Yevgen Kravtsov, Acting Chairman of the Management Board of Ukrainian Railways. “Our partnership will not only upgrade our fleet, but modernize Ukraine’s transportation infrastructure and further cement our country’s position as a key transit hub between Europe and Asia and ensure Ukraine’s export potential.  It also will spur local economic development and job growth.”

“This project demonstrates the growing cooperation and support of our partners in Ukraine,” said Yuvbir Singh, Vice President of Equipment for GE Transportation. “Our partnership will transform Ukraine’s rail network and foster growth for our customer and the country. This locomotive is the ideal solution for Ukrainian Railways to achieve those goals in a competitive market.”

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