Canadian National Railway (CN) will acquire 161 locomotives to accommodate increased traffic on its network and improve operational efficiency.
Under the fleet expansion plan, CN will acquire 65 new high-horsepower locomotives as well as 96 high-horsepower second-hand locomotives that will be upgraded.
In 2013-14, CN will take delivery of 35 new ES44AC locomotives from GE Transportation (GE), which will be of 4,400hp and 30 new SD70ACe locomotives of 4,300hp from Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD).
CN executive vice-president and chief operating officer Keith Creel said that the acquisition of locomotives is to handle expected volume growth over the next two to five years and to meet the locomotive requirements resulting from customer focused service plans.
"The new and used motive power will enhance operational efficiency and reduce fuel consumption by permitting the retirement of older, high-maintenance locomotives and the cascading of less fuel-efficient main-line units into less-demanding yard and local switching operations, while providing additional locomotives to accommodate increased traffic," Creel said.
"The programme includes the acquisition of alternating-current locomotives (AC), which will represent a first for CN," Creel added.
This year, the railway will also buy 42 second-hand GE Dash 8-40C locomotives of 4,000hp, 11 leased GE Dash 8-40C locomotives, and 43 used EMD SD60 locomotives with 3,800hp, all of which will be upgraded.
Currently, CN has a fleet of about 1,900 locomotives, which employs direct-current (DC) traction technology.
The new locomotives are also equipped with distributed power technology (DP) which helps improve train handling and fuel efficiency and by the end of 2013 CN expects that 50% of its high-horsepower locomotive fleet will have DP.
DP permits remote control of a locomotive or locomotives throughout a train from the lead control unit and the company claims that it also provides faster, smoother train starts, improved braking and lower pulling forces at the head-end and within a train, contributing to improved safety.
Image: CN’s new locomotives will be equipped with DP which helps improve train handling and fuel efficiency. Photo: CN.