Stadler Rail unveils powerful rack and pinion locomotive

7 June 2012 (Last Updated June 7th, 2012 18:30)

Swiss rail car manufacturer Stadler Rail has unveiled a new locomotive for Brazilian firm MRS logistics that boasts the largest rack-and-pinion engine ever built.

Swiss rail car manufacturer Stadler Rail has unveiled a new locomotive for Brazilian firm MRS logistics that boasts the largest rack-and-pinion engine ever built.

MRS logistics ordered seven of the electric locomotives from Stadler in 2010 for $62m and the first two are scheduled to be delivered to the Brazilan company over the coming weeks.

The locomotives will be used on the freight line from São Paulo to the Port of Santos for hauling heavy iron ore. Each of the four-axle trains has a length of 19m, weighs almost 120t and offers a 760kN starting tractive effort.

Capable of generating up to 5MW, the locomotives can be coupled together to pull freight trains of up to 850t up a 10.4% incline.

The trains have two bogies, each with two pinion transmission systems, which will engage with the trip-lamella Abt rack on the 10km-long ramp across the 1,600mm-gauge freight line from São Paulo to the Port of Santos.

About 25% of the traction required as the train goes uphill is supplied by two separate adhesion transmission systems. Stadler Rail said that energy savings are also expected on the 3kV DC electrified line through regenerative braking.

In March this year, the company unveiled its first double-decker multiple-unit train in Erlen, Switzerland. The Bern-Lötschberg-Simplon (BLS) railway placed its CHF494m ($542m) order for 28 double-deck trains in March 2010 with the aim to provide a 30% increase in seating capacity on Berne commuter railway lines.