Moldovan Railways (CFM) has chosen GE Transportation to supply 12 Evolution Series locomotives along with parts, training and services.

The move represents a significant step in upgrading the country’s existing fleet to haul freight trains, primarily carrying grain and ore, as well as passenger trains.

Being the first locomotive order in Moldova, the TE33AC locomotive is designed for varying temperature and operating conditions of the CIS region.

The locomotive features a 12-cylinder, 4000-horsepower Evolution Series engine with EU3A emissions-level compliance, delivering enhanced productivity, high power output, lower lifecycle costs and improved reliability in heavy-haul operations.

TE33AC is expected to economise on fuel and oil costs, reduce harmful emissions and increase time between maintenance overhauls.

“We will get the added benefit of significant fuel savings as we will be able to use a single locomotive to haul trains in place of two.”

CFM director Iurii Topala said: “Availability and reliability are vital factors as we seek to modernise our fleet to bring critical goods and resources to market.

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“With these new GE locomotives, we will get the added benefit of significant fuel savings as we will be able to use a single locomotive to haul trains, in place of two that we use today to carry the same amount of freight.”

The deal is a part of Restructuring and Reorganisation of Moldova Railways and has been financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank and the European Union.

GE Transportation general manager Gokhan Bayhan said: “We are honoured to be selected by Moldovan Railways for this important infrastructure investment.

“With this order, GE Transportation will have over 1,000 locomotives operating in eight countries in the region, bringing newfound performance and productivity to these vibrant economies.”

The locomotive kits will be produced in the US next year, with final delivery scheduled in 2020.