Moldova taps GE for new power

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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Moldovan Railways (CFM) has ordered 12 GE Transportation Evolution Series TE33AC locomotives, along with parts, training and services. This is the first locomotive order in Moldova for GE Transportation, as the country seeks to upgrade its existing fleet to haul freight trains that primarily carry grain and ore, as well as passenger trains.

GE will produce the locomotives in the U.S. as kits later in 2019, and then ship them to Moldava for regional final assembly, with anticipated final delivery in 2020.

Designed for the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) region’s wide temperature and operating conditions, the TE33AC features a 12-cylinder, 4,000-horsepower Evolution Series engine with EU3A emissions-level compliance, “delivering high power output, enhanced productivity, greater flexibility, lower lifecycle costs, and improved reliability in heavy-haul operations,” GE said. “Compared to the legacy Moldovan fleet (photo, below), the TE33AC can significantly reduce harmful emissions, economize on fuel and oil costs, and increase time between maintenance overhauls.”

The contract is part of the broader “Project for the Restructuring and Reorganization of the State Enterprise Moldova Railways” and includes funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank and the European Union.

“Availability and reliability are vital factors as we seek to modernize our fleet to bring critical goods and resources to market,” said Iurii Topala, CFM CEO. “With these new GE locomotives, we will get the added benefit of significant fuel savings as we will be able to use a single locomotive to haul trains, in place of two that we use today to carry the same amount of freight.”

“We are honored to be selected by Moldovan Railways for this important infrastructure investment,” said Gokhan Bayhan, GE Transportation General Manager-Russia/CIS, Europe, Middle East and North Africa. “With this order, GE Transportation will have more than 1,000 locomotives operating in eight countries in the region, bringing newfound performance and productivity to these vibrant economies.”

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