GE PowerHaul Locomotives

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GE PowerHaul Locomotives

Postby MEC407 » Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:48 pm

Per Mr. Keith Fender of the GELocos group on Yahoo, U.K.-based Freightliner has ordered 30 freight locomotives from GE.

More info can be found at:

http://www.freightliner.co.uk/newsdetail.aspx?newsid=52
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Postby MEC407 » Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:10 pm

Found two more press releases on the subject:

http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site ... ewsLang=en

http://www.progressiverailroading.com/f ... p?id=11776

The locomotive model name is JS37ACi, according to these reports. Would the "37" indicate 3700 HP? It should be interesting to see whether these units have FDLs or GEVOs under the hood. 3700 HP seems a bit low for the GEVO-12, but might be realistic for an FDL-12 with all the latest tweaks and optimizations. Or could we be looking at the GEVO-8 I've been daydreaming about? :wink:
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Postby pwormald » Mon Nov 26, 2007 6:08 pm

MEC407 wrote:Found two more press releases on the subject:

It should be interesting to see whether these units have FDLs or GEVOs under the hood.


Neither! They use the GE J616 Jenbacher diesel mentioned on the fact sheet in the press release. More on this type of engine here:

http://www.gepower.com/prod_serv/produc ... /index.htm
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Postby uhaul » Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:44 pm

I guess the railroad felt like something different. Is this order due to something or somethings that EMD did?
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Postby MEC407 » Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:46 pm

Interesting. What kind of fuel will these units burn? The fact sheet on the J616 mentions natural gas and other types of gases, but not diesel.
Last edited by MEC407 on Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MEC407 » Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:26 pm

Here is a news article from the Erie Times-News:

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art ... /711270385


It calls them diesel locomotives, so now I'm not sure what to think. The info page on GE's web site for the J616 does not list diesel as one of the compatible fuels.
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Postby Allen Hazen » Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:36 am

A truly new, start with a blank sheet of paper, locomotive design! Twin cab is standard British practice. The drawing in the Erie newspaper article MEC407 has linked to is a side view, so it's not clear whether it is a hood unit or full-width carbody: the latter would be more common in Britain.

It doesn't LOOK as if it has huge fuel tanks for natural gas, but Britain is a small country and Freightliner's runs are very short by American standards.

AC traction is a brave choice: getting regulatroy approval from Railtrack (or whatever the owner of track and signals gor Britain's railways is called now) will involve convincing them that the AC in the motors can't under any circumstances do bad things to tack circuits: when the EMD "Class 66" type was designed, AC traction was ruled out because of worries that they wouldn't be able to get approval soon enough!

One bit looks familiar: the trucks (maybe, since it is for a British railroad, I should say "bogies") look like a light-weight version of the "roller-blades" truck on domestic GE locomotives: lightweight versions of this are used on the NR class in Australia and the AC38 units for Tibet.
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Postby Chesapeake » Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:52 am

MEC407 wrote:Here is a news article from the Erie Times-News:

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art ... /711270385


It calls them diesel locomotives, so now I'm not sure what to think. The info page on GE's web site for the J616 does not list diesel as one of the compatible fuels.


Chances are the engine will be modifyed to burn diesel.

The HDL started life as the Duetz MWM-632 which was a gas burner, this kinda conversion is not unheard of.
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Postby Allen Hazen » Wed Nov 28, 2007 9:34 pm

Second thoughts on the truck design. The bodies in the drawing ALSO look something like those used on the (British-designed) Class 56 and Class 58 diesels and the Class 89 electric.

284,000 pounds is heavy by British standards (though matched by the more recent freight CC diesels), so truck design is going to be sensitive (don't want to damage the track!). British diesels usually have slightly larger wheels than the 40"-42" that's standard in the U.S. (wheel diameters for British Rail classes 47, 50, 56, 58 -- all big CC units -- range from 43" to 45"), so I suspect this new design will too... which might be a reason to use a "tried and true" British truck design.

(Mind you, I'm speculating here.)
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Postby MEC407 » Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:58 pm

Here is an op-ed piece from the Erie Times-News:

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/art ... /OPINION21


It states that the new locos will be "more powerful" than the Evolution Series locos. Since the ES locos obviously have more horsepower (4400 vs. 3700 for the Project Genesis unit), what is their definition of "power"? Tractive effort? Speed? Something else?

I was also wondering: are the J616 engines built at the same plant where the FDLs and GEVOs are built, or are the J616s built elsewhere?
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Postby pwormald » Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:25 pm

MEC407 wrote:I was also wondering: are the J616 engines built at the same plant where the FDLs and GEVOs are built, or are the J616s built elsewhere?


I think you'll find the J616 will be built at the Jenbacher factory in Austria, I could be wrong though!
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Postby MEC407 » Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:45 pm

Thank you for that info. Does GE own Jenbacher, or is this an arrangement similar to what GE did in the past with putting other manufacturers' engines in GE locos (Cooper-Bessemer, Cummins, et al)?
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Postby pwormald » Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:50 pm

MEC407 wrote:Thank you for that info. Does GE own Jenbacher, or is this an arrangement similar to what GE did in the past with putting other manufacturers' engines in GE locos (Cooper-Bessemer, Cummins, et al)?


Yes, I think they own them now.
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Postby Typewriters » Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:11 pm

GE did acquire Jenbacher. Jenbacher had, at some prior point, purchased part of the remains of Hungarian manufacturer Ganz-MAVAG. Ganz, prior to its forced combination / nationalization with MAVAG had experimented with high-speed gasoline, or distillate engines and later the consortium produced high-speed diesel engines of the Jendrassik design. These were employed in rail service. (England's North British Locomotive Works tried to manufacture Ganz-Jendrassik diesel engines during its short span of producing diesel-hydraulic locomotives but was unable to obtain proper rights and thus approached Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nurnberg of Germany, with whom it did reach agreements.) If I recall correctly, an attempt by Ganz-Mavag to produce a very large and powerful engine more comparable with those employed in the US or UK failed or was cut short by Soviet order. Also, Jenbacher itself, separately built high-speed engines for use in diesel-hydraulic locomotives, so that this is not a firm with no accumulated prior rail experience per se. Not that this all matters a whole heckuva lot now, but I thought that some of the fans out there might like these few details.

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Postby Allen Hazen » Sat Dec 01, 2007 12:51 am

Thanks everybody for the fascinating links (and Will Davis for the history)!

There are a bunch of technical details that ... haven't been covered in the press releases and Erie, PA, newspaper coverage. I trust more details will emerge as the project matures.

The Jensbacher engine seems to have a per-cylinder displacement of about 380 cubic inches, and full speed is 1500 rpm. (Compare the Caterpillar 3500, as used on new power from some minor builders: 264 cu in displacement, 1800 rpm, for 2000hp from the 16-cylinder version.) My impression [note the word: this is the feel I get from various sources, NOT a professional opinion or one based on specific figures) is that such small, high-speed engines are not as fuel-efficient, in raw terms, as the larger "medium speed" engines like the FDL and GEVO: their advantage in "gen set" switchers, etc, is because whole engines can be shut down when less than full power is needed, so the engines are essentially only used at their most efficient power ratings.

Am I badly wrong about this? If not, where does the fuel-efficiency claimed for the new design come from? The only thing that comes to my mind is that they will use some unconventional (in locomotive use) fuel. The engines are advertised (see the GE website Phil Wormald linked to) as gas engines. I don't know about fuel efficiency (even how to define it when the fuels used are so different), but emissiions-reduction, at least, might be easily attainable by switching from diesel oil to natural gas.

One thought one MIGHT have is that using the smaller engine was a way of keeping the locomotive size and weight down, but I doubt this is the primary reason. After all, the GEVO engine is comparable in weight and size to the "English Electric" (Ruston) diesel design that was successfully used in many British locomotives, such as the Class 50 (which had a 16-cylinder version in a 258,000 pound CC).
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