26, March 2009, Koedoespoort – Transnet Rail Engineering (TRE) in conjunction with Electro-Motive Diesel Inc. (EMD) officially launched the 50 As New – GT26CU-3/Class 39-200, Locomotive being manufactured in South Africa. The 50 units are scheduled for delivery by the end of the third quarter of 2009. This marks the first diesel locomotive to be delivered for service to Transnet Freight Rail in 20 years.
Present at the launch to cut the ribbon was Chris Wells acting GCE, of Transnet Limited, who was delighted in the fact that this acquisition had been fulfilled on time, and with the skills requirements being met, “The South African plan is to reinvest in transport and infrastructure, thus creating a vision to become a world class leader”
Richard Vallihu, Transnet Rail Engineering, CE – remarked that this achievement is as a result of a dedicated team who in three months performed miracles – the entire concept, design, prototype and setting up of the production line was concluded in three months. The 50 as new locomotives will provide reliable diesel freight traction and will go along was towards ensuring that Transnet remains at the forefront of international heavy haul operations.
Siyabonga Game, Transnet Freight Rail, CE – was extremely pleased with what he had seen and looked forward to seeing them at work. “The reliability of our service will continue on its upward path and be significantly enhanced as a result of these 50 locomotives. Our customers can expect a further improvement in our efficiencies.”
Locomotive – General Information:
Overall, while the performance of the Class 39-200 will be similar to that of the existing class 37, the more powerful 39-200 locomotives will boast features such as:
- Tractive Effort – 305kN continuous and 350kN maximum
- Power of 3,300 gross horse-power (2,460kW)
- 21T axle load, co-co configuration
- EMD D43 traction motors
- Electronic brake rack enabling ECP braking
- Bogie-mounted tread brakes
- EM 2000 control system
- EMD 645 E3B, 16-cylinder, 2-stroke diesel engine
- Engine swept volume of 645 cubic inches per cylinder – 170 litre in total
- 7,400 litre long-range fuel tank
The EM 2000 control system will ensure improved performance and reliability compared with older locomotives such as the class 37. The proprietary EMD microprocessor-based system, in continuous use for over 16 years, has been installed in more than 7,000 locomotives across the world. This is a cost-effective solution that will differentiate the 50 as-new locomotives from other equipment in the Transnet Freight Rail fleet. In addition to managing all critical operating functions, the EM 2000 increases a locomotive’s residual value, availability and reliability, greatly improves tractive effort and lowers life-cycle cost by offering better protection to all systems. The radar application employed provides true ground-speed measurement, while the creep control attains high and low speed adhesion advantages. Diagnostic information is displayed in a clear and concise way, with self-test abilities and instant fault reporting. This system virtually eliminates the occurrence of NDF trouble reports. The system plays a pivotal role in fuel saving, while reducing idle time and emissions.
Driver comfort and safety are always important factors to consider when designing a locomotive cab. Sound-proofing as well as an air-conditioned environment will be provided in the class 39-200, and superior seating. Electronic screens to monitor the locomotive status will replace the analogue gauges previously used.
The High Voltage Cabinet (HVC) and hood structure consisting of the engine, cooling and inertial hoods will be manufactured and assembled using laser cutting and CNC bending technology. The HVC will house the EM 2000 control system, technologically advanced in that it will be able to monitor and provide instant analysis and fault reporting.
The 50 as-new locomotive line, stationed in Bay 1 at Koedoespoort, has been set up in a U-shaped configuration, for better utilisation of space and according to international best practice, with 14 stations and 2 buffer zones. Three stations are situated outside Bay 1 for painting, testing and commissioning. The production line is designed for a “beat rate” of two days during peak production of 11 locomotives per month.
Skills transfer has always topped Transnet Rail Engineering’s agenda and Koedoespoort is no exception. Here 40 EMD representatives from all over the world are overseeing the project and working in conjunction with TRE’s 140 employees, whose skills have been developed and enhanced to correspond with international best practice. Some have been overseas to learn new welding techniques and standards acceptable to EMD; others have attended courses on diesel locomotives.
In line with a policy to support and develop South African suppliers, over 2,000 parts are to be sourced from local firms instead of being imported.
Furthermore the locomotives will be equipped with Transnet Rail Engineering’s own design for sandboxes and fuel tanks. TRE’s Koedoespoort centre boasts a number of specialised on-site facilities such as laser cutting, CNC bending, fabrication, wheelset assembly, bogie assembly and paint facilities, all concentrated in the company’s various business divisions such as Rolling Stock Equipment, the Wheel Business and Locomotive Business.