An unknown Prima DE43 C AC / AD43C diesel locomotive awaits delivery to Iran at Belfort, France on June 21, 2002. Picture by Vincent Torterotot.
Anglo Belgian Corporation (ABC) has been awarded a contract by Islamic Republic of Iran Railways that will see two AD43C (also known as Prima DE43 C AC) diesel locomotives re-powered with ABC 12DZC diesel engines. The two locomotives will serve as prototype for a larger re-powering programme covering the entire fleet of 100 AD43C locomotives. Part of the programme are not only the supply of the engines, but also fitting them into the locomotives, installing modern air filters and monitoring the re-entry into service of the locos.
The 100 locomotives, of which 20 have been built by Alstom in Belfort, are currently powered Ruston 16K215 diesel engines. Where Ruston produced the first 20 diesel engines itself, the remaining 80 were produced in Iran by Desa under a technology transfer deal which also included the local production of a similar number of AD43C locomotives by Mapna. However, the locomotives, and especially the engines, are subjected to high temperatures and dust, which causes poor availability levels.