It is no exaggeration to call the PowerHaul Series engine and freight locomotive remarkable. As GE Transportation’s first solo entry into the European locomotive market, expectations were very high, both from within the company and across the industry. What’s more, GE engineers had to design a new engine and locomotive, on a new platform, for a new market—all in just two years.
Not only did they do it, the result was the most technologically advanced diesel-electric freight locomotive GE had ever put out, generating more horsepower while using less fuel and emitting fewer greenhouse gas emissions than any other locomotive on the market. Launch client Freightliner is currently operating 11 PowerHaul Series Locomotives in the U.K.—all of them, along with the PowerHaul Series Engine, GE Ecomagination certified.
The PowerHaul locomotive’s design is much smaller than the Evolution Series’, GE’s current Ecomagination offering in North America. The key is the PowerHaul P616 engine, which actually came about thanks to some help from GE Energy.
The PowerHaul engine is based on a Jenbacher J616 gas engine. When GE Energy acquired Jenbacher in 2003, the idea was to use their gas engines for stationary power applications. But GE Transportation engineers took an interest, and over the course of two years managed to transform the gas engines into high-powered, diesel-burning locomotive engines.
The PowerHaul Series Engine runs at up to 1500 RPM—higher than the EVO’s 1050 RPM. This higher speed allows PowerHaul to meet tougher emissions standards, while still providing the durability and maintenance intervals of a lower speed engine. The PowerHaul engine employs aggressive Miller Cycle combustion technology, in which the fuel injection process takes place in a very short window and under very high pressure. This allows for an exceptionally clean fuel burn with minimal exhaust excretion of NOx, particulate matter and CO2. Thanks to this rugged engine, the PowerHaul locomotive offers fuel reductions of up to nine percent compared to current operating fleet averages. Not only do these fuel savings reduce overall operating costs, they also reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. And its advanced traction control technology also allows it to carry heavier loads by significantly reducing slippage on start-ups, inclines and poor track conditions.
“We are incredibly proud of our PowerHaul series offerings—a major breakthrough in locomotive technology,” says Bryan Gromacki, product manager. “It’s a great way for us to enter the European, Middle Eastern and North African freight markets, and is certain to prove especially crucial for our future presence in markets with lightweight railways as well.”
The PowerHaul Series Locomotive is the foundation of GE’s expansion into the European freight market. It features a flexible platform that readily adapts to local requirements, and already meets European Union Stage IIIa emissions standards. GE has an agreement to supply Turkey-based Tülomsaş with PowerHaul locomotive kits to be assembled in Turkey and used throughout the European, Middle Eastern and North African markets.
When PowerHaul makes its entry into these markets, it will use the same engine as the U.K. version, while featuring a different locomotive design. These new locomotives will have a more Amtrak-style car body, with bigger cooling systems that allow for reliable performance in extreme climates, and will be slightly larger and lighter than the U.K. models (although both are much lighter than North American locomotives.) The first locomotive kits are scheduled to ship from GE Transportation’s plant in Erie, PA, to Turkey in January 2012, with the goal of having the locomotives up and running in Turkey in 2013 and the rest of Europe by 2014.
So as the world moves toward more stringent emissions standards on diesel engines, GE and PowerHaul are leading the way.
Check out our blog entry on the January’s shipment of PowerHaul locomotives to Freightliner, complete with video of the locomotives shipping out of the Port of Erie: http://www.getransportation.com/rail/rail-blog/ges-powerhaul-locomotive-for-freightliner-loaded-at-the-port-of-erie.html
Read the GE Reports story on the first shipment of PowerHaul locomotives to the U.K.: http://www.gereports.com/battle-of-britain-1st-powerhaul-locomotives-ship-to-uk/
Learn more about PowerHaul Series Locomotives on GETransportation.com: http://www.getransportation.com/rail/rail-products/locomotives/powerhaul-series-locomotive.html
Visit the PowerHaul Series Engine’s Ecomagination page: http://www.ecomagination.com/technologies/powerhaul-engine/