Siemens to upgrade 60 freight locomotives Australia
Erlangen, Germany – Siemens TS is to upgrade 60 electric freight locomotives in Australia together with its local partner United Group Rail. A corresponding order worth a total of EUR 150 million, of which 85 million will go to the consortium leader Siemens, has been placed by the operator Queensland Rail. This modernization program will increase the power rating and tractive effort substantially; whereas it previously took five locomotives to haul a train, only three will be needed from now on.
Siemens is in charge of the overall project management and will supply the complete electrical equipment comprising the drive units, converters, transformers, cooling systems, and driverâ€™s cab electronics together with the related controls. The Class 31/3200 electric locomotives (25 kV / 50 Hz) will be converted from DC to three-phase AC propulsion.
Upgrading will increase the power rating, tractive effort and also the availability and reliability of these locomotives, which are to be used for transporting coal. It will also extend the service life of these units by 20 more years.
The weight of the six-axle locomotives will be increased from 110 to 126 metric tons to ensure that in combination with Siemensâ€™ service-proven wheel spin-slide control system the higher tractive effort is made available where the wheel meets the rail. The maximum operating speed of the locomotives will remain unchanged at 80 km/h.
The first production locomotive will be delivered in March 2007. A maximum of 20 units will then follow each year until completion of the order in December 2010. Locomotive preparation will take place in Townsville, Queensland, and final assembly in Newcastle, New South Wales, at the works of consortium member, United Group Rail.
These freight locomotives will operate in the Goonyella railway network in East Australia, a region where many coal mines are located. These mines are about 200 to 300 kilometers from the coastal ports, where the coal is loaded on ships for sea transport. A coal train usually consists of 120 cars and weighs about 13,000 metric tons.
Siemens had previously been given an order by Queensland Rail in 2003 to upgrade three prototypes of its Class 31/32 locomotive. Commissioning of those units will be finished in March 2006.