Freightliner declares new era for locomotive technology

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Freightliner Group has placed an order (its largest ever) for 30 newly designed freight locomotives from General Electric’s transport unit. The new engines will enable Freightliner to move longer and heavier trains while reducing carbon dioxide emissions per tonne moved.
The development – “Project Genesis” – is part of a joint effort between the two companies and will launch American company General Electric into the UK rail freight market for the first time.
The diesel engines feature AC traction technology and dynamic braking, which will help lower fuel consumption by 10 per cent compared to the company’s previous locomotives.
Eddie Fitzsimons, chief executive, Freightliner Group said: “We are extremely excited about Project Genesis. Not only will we improve our carbon footprint but will be able to move more payload per train than ever before. We have been in discussions with GE over recent months to develop what will be the epitome of 21st century locos on the UK network, bringing revolutionary technology to the rail freight market.”
Tim Shakerley, engineering director, Freightliner said: “We recognise that a locomotive is a 30 year asset and therefore development of new technology is important to ensure the locomotive is up to date and relevant for its design life. Packaging this technology into a locomotive compliant to the UK clearance gauge and axle weight is a tremendous challenge but we are confident that GE can achieve this.”
The company expects to start using the engines mid 2009.

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