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Passed on from RRF to Freightliner DE a week before, 561-05 passes Berlin-Gesundbrunnen station on 14 January 2019. Picture by Rudi Lautenbach.

In late-June, the first Genesee and Wyoming styled Class 66 of RRF was transferred to Freightliner PL: 561-03. The loco subsequently entered service for subsidiary Freightliner DE. Now, the other two locos carrying this livery, 561-04 and 561-05, have been transferred as well. Loco 561-05 could already been seen with Freightliner DE stickers instead of Rail Feeding stickers in Berlin on January 14 (see picture). Both RRF and Freightliner are part of Genesee and Wyoming.

On January 10, CZ LOKO officially handed over EffiShunter 600 locomotive 723 709-2 to CEPRO. The EffiShunter 600 that was delivered to CEPRO is a little different to the standard version. Instead of a Caterpillar C18 engine with 563kW output, it houses a C27 engine with 709kW output.

The new Class 93 would be based on the Class 88. The image shows UK DUAL locomotive 88001 at the VUZ Velim test center in the Czech Republic on 28 April 2016. Picture by Norman Gottberg.

It has been reported that Rail Operations Group is in talks with Beacon Rail and Stadler over the delivery of new locomotives based on the UK DUAL design. Instead of the bi-mode version, which was delivered in a quantity of 10 locos to DRS as Class 88, it would now concern a tri-mode version. In addition to 25kV overhead power and a diesel engine, the new Class 93 is to include batteries as a third power source. Although preliminary livery designs have surfaced on the web, it has been stated that negotations are still ongoing and no deal has been finalized yet.

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Stadler Rail ValenciaUK DUAL

Impression of the Siemens Charger locomotives for Amtrak. Siemens.

With demand for Amtrak service at record levels, Amtrak will acquire new mainline passenger diesel locomotives from Siemens Mobility to replace its aging National Network locomotive fleet. The initial 75 locomotives will be used principally for Amtrak’s Long Distance train service, with options to purchase more, for use on some State Supported routes and for future growth.

“These new locomotives will offer increased reliability, more hauling power, improved safety features and lower emissions,” said Amtrak President & CEO Richard Anderson.

“Siemens Mobility is honored and grateful to Amtrak for this opportunity to assist Amtrak in their mission to provide safe, world-class, environmentally conscious technology for their long-distance services,” said Michael Cahill, president of Siemens Mobility’s North America rolling stock business.

The new locomotives will offer the latest safety systems including Crash Energy Management and Positive Train Control. Capable of speeds up to 125 MPH (200 km/h), the locomotives will have 4,400 horsepower capable 16-cylinder Cummins QSK95 diesel engines with modern control systems and Alternating Current (AC) propulsion. The diesel engine will come equipped with the latest Tier 4 emissions technology, reducing nitrogen oxide by over 89 percent and particulate matter by 95 percent, and provide an average of 10 percent savings in diesel fuel consumption

Delivery of the new locomotives will begin in summer 2021, with passenger service beginning in fall 2021. They will power trains used on the AutoTrain, California Zephyr, Capitol Limited, Cardinal, City of New Orleans, Coast Starlight, Crescent, Empire Builder, Lake Shore Limited, Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star, Southwest Chief, Sunset Limited and Texas Eagle. All locomotives are expected to be in service by 2024. Maintenance activities across the network will be supported by a supplemental multiyear Technical Support Spares Supply Agreement (TSSSA).

Amtrak is paying for the new locomotives through available funds and will comply with Buy American provisions. They will be built at Siemens Mobility’s rail manufacturing plant in Sacramento, California, a facility which uses solar power and employs more than 1,300 people. The total deal is worth $850 million.

Siemens Mobility has established a robust and diverse base of U.S. suppliers across the country to support the production of its current Charger diesel locomotives, including Cummins, which manufactures its engines in its Seymour, Indiana, facility.

Siemens Mobility’s Charger locomotives are currently operating in several state-supported Amtrak routes in California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan, and Washington.

The new locomotives will primarily replace the aging Amtrak P40 and P42 locomotives, some of which have been in service for more than 25 years.

723 709-2 in Česká Třebová on 8 December 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

CZ LOKO has out-shopped the EffiShunter 600 locomotive officially ordered by ČEPRO, a.s. in April 2018. The deal involved the modernization of oldie 740.891, which was tendered for in late-2017 and subsequently won by CZ LOKO in March 2018.

Originally, CEPRO ordered an EffiShunter 700 locomotive with a CAT C27 diesel engine on board instead of the less powerful EffiShunter 500 that houses a C18 engine. Meanwhile, the CZ LOKO product portfolio has shifted, replacing the 500 and 700 by an EffiShunter 600, which houses a Stage IIIb C18 engine delivering 563kW. The CEPRO loco is marketed as an EffiShunter 600, but still has a C27 engine. As a result, it is a little different to the standard EffiShunter 600.

VFLI's EURO DUAL with a rake of coaches used for dynamic testing at Les Aubrais-Orléans (Loiret) yard on 9 December 2018. Picture by Thierry Mazoyer.

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Unipetrol Doprava 753 612 at Česká Třebová on 13 December 2018. Picture by Dalibor Palko.

The fourth EffiLiner 1600 for Unipetrol Doprava has been out-shopped. Loco 753 612-1 completes an order of 2+2 locomotives for the Czech rail freight operator.

Colas Rail 66846 and 66848 nose to nose at Doncaster Station on 16 April 2013. Picture by Richard Gennis.

In a move significantly expanding its presence in the UK market, Beacon Rail has signed a sale-and-lease-back deal with Colas Rail covering the latters locomotive fleet. The deal comprises the purchase of 67 locomotives of different types from Colas Rail, which are currently operated in France and the UK.

Colas Rail's French fleet consists of both Vossloh-built G 1206 and G 2000 locomotives. Its UK-based fleet consists of more different locomotive types, namely 5x Class 56, 5x Class 66, 2x Class 67 and 17x Class 70 locomotives. No Class 37 locos are involved.

Colas Rail 70804 passes Leamington Spa Station with an unidentified Class member on 4 August 2014. Picture by Peter Lovell.

Artist impression of the Siemens Charger locomotives that are to power Via Rail Canada's new trainsets. Siemens.

Via Rail Canada has signed a deal worth €650m with Siemens Mobility for the delivery of 32 bi-directional trainsets powered by Charger diesel locomotives. With deliveries commencing in 2021, the contract includes a service agreement for 15 years.

Service area of the new trainsets will be formed by VIA's busiest route, the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor, connecting Canada's two largest cities, Toronto and Montreal, and spanning more than 2,200 kilometers in a northeast-southwest direction.

Environmentally friendly with a Tier 4 emission compliant power unit, the locomotives offer a carbon emission reduction of up to 80% compared to current equipment. Additionally, the locos will be prepared.

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