• GE PowerHaul Locomotives

  • Discussion of General Electric locomotive technology. Current official information can be found here: www.getransportation.com.
Discussion of General Electric locomotive technology. Current official information can be found here: www.getransportation.com.

Moderators: AMTK84, MEC407

  by Allen Hazen
Thanks, MEC407, for posting that link!
--"Innotrans", every two years, in Berlin: isn't that where GE displayed a model of the Powerhaul two years ago? (Photos linked by early posts in this string.) Impressive performance: display a model, say "We're going to build this, with significantly new engine technology, and get it running on a railway network with extremely restrictive loading gauge and very strict rules about testing and qualification (e.g.: no signal interference allowed, which is why they've never had a non-experimental diesel with AC traction motors)," and then come back two years later and say "Here it is: it's in service with Freightliner." (If any Boeing people involved in the 787 program are following this story, they must be weeping!)
--"Sustainability" seems to be the new buzzword: any feature enhancing efficiency or reducing emissions gets labeled with it.
--Turkey is on the list of countries where GE locomotives get built: they seem confident about the GE-Tulomsas (sp?) deal working, even though Tulomsas hasn't yet (a.f.a.i.k.) built any Powerhaul.
  by MEC407
Came across this press release this morning. It's pretty much just your typical press release, rather than real journalism, but I did find a couple of paragraphs with info that I hadn't heard/read about until now:
Newswire wrote:With GE’s traction advantage, Freightliner now is able to save time and money by using a shorter, more direct route with a steeper incline for hauling coal on the Bristol-Rugeley power station run. This economical route was unusable by its older fleet locomotives that had to take a longer, indirect route because they could not cope with the incline.

Due to the PowerHaul locomotive’s increased hauling capability compared to its older fleet locomotives, Freightliner also is experimenting with up to 25% longer trains to reduce traffic congestion on the rail network such as on the North London line.
Pretty cool!

Read more at: http://www.newswiretoday.com/news/82973/
  by Allen Hazen
Except for one Brush experimental in the 1960s (!), the new GE units are the first diesel locomotives in Britain with AC traction motors. Bristol-Rugely power plant coal deliveries are benefitting from them in the same way numerous U.S. coal runs benefitted from the introduction of the SD70MAC and the AC44: same locomotive horsepower can now get coal trains over hills that, with DC motors, would have needed extra power or helpers or...
My suspicion is that this is good publicity for GE (which wants to sell Powerhaul or derivative types to other European (etc) railways, but that there may not be too much scope for this sort of efficiency in Britain. My impression is that British railways, on which passenger service tends to be more important than freight, usually have freight trains that are laughably short by U.S. standards, powered to be agile enough to clear a segment of track in time for a following passenger train. So I suspect that the average British coal train may have a higher horsepower/ton ratio than is usual in the U.S., so not many lines would have the sort of limitations the direct line to Bristol-Rugely has.
Thanks for posting this!
  by bengt
One of the Power Haul locos was damaged during unloading in UK.


For making good busines in Europe it would be good to have an electric loco with a diesel for some part of the jurney. Now many operators i Sweden and Norway have the trains with both an electric loco and a diesel in tow for reaching loading and unloading areas.
The diesel is in radio control.
The rail-fee is lower for an electric loco than driwing a diesel under catenery.

http://i25.photobucket.com/albums/c63/b ... ag1/15.jpg
  by MEC407
bengt wrote:One of the Power Haul locos was damaged during unloading in UK.

Ouch! I hope the company doing the unloading has lots of insurance!
  by GEVO
Wow! Looks like some major damage.
  by mtuandrew
Duncan McGuyver wrote:More details on the un-loading accident

I think that site's assertion that there can be NO replacement of the PowerHaul yet is misinformed. If there's a will, there's a way, probably by attaching standard couplers and a pass-through air pipe, having CSX or NS inspect the locomotive to make sure it's safe, and shipping it by rail to an open harbor.

Not that they need to go to that expense for just one locomotive, but it's a possibility.
  by RickRackstop
I think Freightliner has the right to get a new unit and I think GE wouldn't extend any warranty to any part in that wreck. Usually in cases like this the insurance company eats the cost but the wreck will have to be scrapped rather than parted out.
  by GEVO
I don't see where it says anything about salvaging the locomotive. On the contrary, they say it is to be scrapped. The mention of no replacement means no immediate replacement as the lakes are frozen thus no shipping traffic can get through to deliver another until the spring thaw.
Locomotive No. 700012 will be scrapped and replaced with another unit.
  by MEC407
GE and TÜLOMSAŞ Showcase First PowerHaul Locomotive Assembled in Turkey:
The Gazette wrote:During a ceremony today at TÜLOMSAŞ headquarters in Eskisehir, Turkey, GE Transportation and TÜLOMSAŞ celebrated the introduction of the first GE PowerHaul Locomotive assembled in Turkey from components manufactured at GE’s plant in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA.
Read more at: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business ... story.html
  by Allen Hazen
Apparently it is a test/demonstrator unit:
"The locomotive is scheduled for a year-long testing program in Turkey in preparation for expanded operations as well as demonstrations for potential customers." (From the article MEC407 linked to in the previous post.)
I believe that the "Powerhaul" unit was designed in two versions: one for the very restrictive British loading gauge and a larger one for European use. If I had to guess, I'd guess that the unit just announced in Turkey (Eskisehir is between Istanbul and Ankara) is probably the first of the larger type (note occurrences of "guess" at the beginning of the sentence).
Articles about the Powerhaul locomotive -- written, I assume, with GE's press package on the journalist's desk -- usually say something about it being GE's most technologically advanced and fuel-efficient design. Has anyone seen any comparison between the Powerhaul and GEVO engines on the fuel efficiency front?
  by Allen Hazen
Googling, i found several articles about this unveiling: they all show too close a resemblance to the wording of the press release at GETS's site for coincidence.
This one:
http://www.rail.co/2011/02/28/ge-transp ... in-turkey/
has the best photo I've found. Looks very much like the units built in Erie for U.K. service, so maybe it isn't the other version I mentioned.
  by MEC407
Allen Hazen wrote:Has anyone seen any comparison between the Powerhaul and GEVO engines on the fuel efficiency front?
I've been wondering the same thing. Obviously it wouldn't be fair to do a straight comparison of a 4500 HP engine against a 3800 HP engine, but it would be very interesting to see how much fuel each engine uses per unit of horsepower created. If that makes sense. I'm operating sans caffeine this morning.

Another option would be to compare the two locomotives (ES44AC and PH37ACi) in terms of tractive effort in relation to fuel consumption.
  by RickRackstop
The index for fuel performance comparison is "Brake Specific Fuel Consumption" or bsfc and is measured in pounds of fuel per horsepower-hour. And unfortunately its a curve, that is it varies with engine speed and load.

This locomotive was developed for the lucrative european locomotive market developed by EMD's Class 66 locomotive. The envelope that all the components have to be shoe horned into is about 1 foot narrower and 3 feet lower than the North American size, (Even that's a problem look at the LIRR forum} The Europeans up to now have been running short trains faster and with a single locomotive that only requires medium horsepower up to now. The Powerhaul has to use the smaller high speed Jenbacher engine to fit into the smaller envelope and there is enough room left over for dynamic braking. In the larger European (Continent only) there is the 3000 and 4000 HP Vossloh engines that use mostly EMD components and have room for dynamic braking. In another forum discussing super-size container ships the Port of Rotterdam is expanding its facilities to accommodate the ships and is developing - what for it.... a rail line with overhead clearances for double stack container trains. I wonder how they are going to lecture us on how stupid we are in running are railroads.

Back to Powerhaul. Its the most powerful locomotive now in the UK and even if it turns out to be a maintenance hog the English are excellent mechanics, look at their cars.