Brazilian freight operator MRS Logistica has awarded a R$60m ($56m) contract to Swiss firm Stadler Rail to supply seven four-axle locomotives.
According to Stadler, the 18-mile, 5,000kW power and 350kN tractive effort locomotives will be the world's most powerful rack-and-pinion locomotives ever built.
The vehicles will haul freight trains on the electrified 9km steeply graded section of the 1,600mm gauge line from São Paulo to the port of Santos.
MRS Logistica will work the locomotives in pairs to pull trains of up to 750t on the line, which has a 10.4% incline.
The delivery of the fleet is scheduled for 2012–13, with the deal including an option for a further three similar locomotives.