Australian rail freight operator Pacific National has launched the first three of its 23 Class 7100 25kV 1,067mm gauge electric locomotives in the state of Queensland.

The three new locomotives will replace five older locomotives on the 12,720t coal trains.

The locomotives feature three-phase AC traction equipment, an output rating of 4,000kW, wheelslip control and can reach speeds of up to 80kmph.

They also have ECP brakes which can stop a train within a distance of 650m.

The locomotives have been built by Siemens Mobility under a 2007 contract.

The remainder of the fleet is expected to be delivered by mid-2010.

The new locomotives will save up to 2,100kWh over a 380km route and another 4,500kWh due to regenerative braking, according to the company.