CSXT Unveils The World's Most Powerful Single-Engine Locomotive
BALTIMORE, Md., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- During ceremonies today at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, the birthplace of American railroading, CSX Transportation Inc. (CSXT) launched commercial railroading into the 21st Century by commissioning the world's most powerful locomotive, the GE AC60OOCW.
CSXT President and CEO A. R. "Pete" Carpenter, together with GE Transportation Systems President and CEO David Calhoun, and more than 100 guests participated in festivities marking the AC6000's introduction into revenue service on CSXT rail lines.
Flanked on one side by a replica of Peter Cooper's historic "Tom Thumb," the nation's first practical steam locomotive, and the new 210-ton, 76-foot- long AC60OOCW, Carpenter said the goal of the joint project was to establish a new standard of locomotive performance for the next century.
"This state-of-the-art locomotive is a prime example of our continuing goal to introduce the safest, most technologically advanced equipment available to assist us in achieving our service reliability objectives in Maryland and throughout the CSXT system. During 1996 we will spend $315 million on our locomotive and car fleets. This means real value added for our customers," Carpenter explained.
Designed and built by GE Transportation Systems of Erie, Pa., in partnership with CSX Transportation, the high-adhesion, six-axle locomotive is equipped with a complete alternating current (AC) traction system rated at 6000 horsepower traction, at a cost of over $2 million each. The AC6000 offers the highest traction rating ever produced in a single-engine freight locomotive -- 166,000 pounds of continuous tractive effort, or pulling power. The locomotive is environmentally friendly and features a newly developed diesel engine that will set new standards for increased fuel efficiency and lower emissions in rail applications.
"The AC6000CW will deliver unprecedented power, reliability and productivity to our customer CSXT which, in turn, will enable the railroad to better serve its freight customers across Maryland and throughout the Eastern United States," Calhoun said. "Since the early 1960s, GE has delivered over 1,000 locomotives to CSXT and its predecessor railroads. As we prepare to begin the next century, it is most appropriate that we extend our partnership through such a significant leap in locomotive technology."
CSXT will place 53 of these diesel-electric locomotives into service during the next two years. The advanced locomotive can translate 90 tons of its weight into pulling power and is capable of attaining a maximum speed of 75 mph. The broad application range of the GE AC6000 will enable CSXT to further improve its service performance in all types of freight service.
CSXT's use of the powerful locomotive will allow a reduction in the total number and types of locomotives the company requires, and a decrease in capital investment previously needed to maintain service performance. CSXT and GE expect the outstanding performance potential of the new locomotive will permit the use of single AC6000s on trains that had previously required two or even three conventional direct-current locomotives.
GE Transportation Systems is one of the 12 major businesses of General Electric Company. It is one of the world's leading surface transportation companies, producing locomotives, transit propulsion control systems and electric motorized wheels for mining vehicles. It has headquarters in Erie, Pa., and employs more than 5,500 employees throughout the world.
CSXT and its 29,500 employees provide rail transportation and distribution services over an 18,600 route-mile network in 20 states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada. CSXT is a business unit of CSX Corporation, headquartered in Richmond, Va.
CSXT's internet address: http://www.csxt.com
GE's internet address: http://www.ge.com
Locomotives Using AC Propulsion Deliver On Tough Proving Ground
CSX Transportation's investment in alternating-current (AC) propulsion for its locomotives confirms the technology's viability. By the third quarter of 1997, CSXT's locomotive fleet will include 341 AC units.
The AC locomotives, built by GE Transportation Systems, Erie, Pa., are delivering superb performance. Some observers say the AC locomotives are the most significant development in motive power since the transition from steam to diesel-electric locomotives began in the 1930s.
Compared to conventional direct-current locomotives, AC locomotives offer increased reliability and improved operating characteristics, says John Basso, vice president-supply and services management.
"Locomotive reliability is key to delivering the higher level of service required by our customers," Basso says. "The AC technology has proven itself in the difficult railroad operating environment."
CSXT has 220 AC locomotives in its fleet, and will take delivery of 33 more by December. By the time all orders are delivered, including 25 SD70MACs from the Electro-Motive Division of General Motors Corporation, CSXT will have 341 AC locomotives. That represents about 10 percent of its fleet of 3,000 locomotives.
The AC4400CW locomotives now in use develop 4,400 horsepower that produces 145,000 pounds of continuous tractive effort, or pulling power. Both GE and EMD models feature electronic fuel injection for enhanced fuel efficiency and reduced exhaust emissions, and radial wheel assemblies that reduce wheel and rail wear.
The Spirit of Maryland on display today represents the most powerful single-engine locomotive in the world today, and CSXT is the first railroad in North America to place this technology into service.
The AC6000CW locomotives develop 166,000 pounds of continuous tractive effort, and have a fuel capacity of 6,000 gallons -- that's enough to drive a typical car more than 100,000 miles without stopping.
But it is the application of alternating-current propulsion that sets these monsters and their 4,400 brethren apart.
AC motors have long been the workhorses of industry. Factories, for example, use AC motors because they receive their electric power as alternating current from the local utility. Locomotives, howeve, receive power from on-board diesel generators, called prime movers, that produce direct current. Hence, they are called diesel-electric locomotives.
It is the traction motors that drive the wheels; the diesel engine is the generator. Until a few years ago, the equipment required to convert direct current into alternating current was too bulky, expensive and inefficient to be used as locomotive motors. Now, locomotive manufacturers have developed inverters to convert direct current (DC) to alternating current that are compact and efficient enough for locomotives.
In a DC motor, a rotating cylinder must touch electrical contacts called brushes, which are high-maintenance items. AC motors do not require brushes because they use the alternating characteristics of the current. As the current rapidly alternates its direction of flow, magnets alternately attract and repel a cylinder, causing it to rotate.
FAST FACTS ABOUT THE SPIRIT OF MARYLAND Locomotive model AC6000CW Length 76 feet Weight 206 tons (fully fueled, sanded) Continuous tractive effort 166,000 pounds Maximum speed 75 mph Control system Onboard microprocessor computers, which maximize performance and diagnose any problems Other features High-adhesion steerable trucks (wheel assemblies). Video screens on control panel for monitoring performance
SOURCE CSX Transportation
/CONTACT: Kathleen A. Burns, ABC, or, T. Martin Fiorentino, both of CSXT, 904-366-4693/
CO: CSX Transportation ST: Florida, Maryland IN: TRN SU: PDT
MS-CM -- FLF003 -- 7788 09/13/96 12:30 EDT http://www.prnewswire.com
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|Date:||Sep 13, 1996|
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