Ukrainian Railways tests new US-made freight locomotive
Ukrainian Railways (Ukrzaliznytsia) is testing a brand new TE33A Trident freight diesel locomotive, produced by GE Transportation in Erie, Pennsylvania. The trial is carried out on the Kremenchuk-Romodan railway line. Ukrainian Railway is expected to put eight of the locomotives on track in November.
The first TE33A Trident diesel locomotive ran on the tracks of Ukrainian Railways on 8 November. The Kremenchuk-Romodan line was selected for testing due to its close location to Kryukov Railway Car Building Works (KRCBW), where the final assembly of the US-made locomotives is taking place. KRCBW has coloured the locomotive in an updated livery of Ukrainian Railways and installed some equipment, inter alia track-cleaners specially developed for GE Transportation by the Ukrainian rolling stock manufacturer.
GE Transportation has already supplied to Ukrainian Railways fifteen locomotives of the type TE33A. The first one was delivered on 12 September to the Ukrainian seaport of Chornomorsk. The second batch of seven locomotives arrived in Ukraine end of September, and the third batch consisting of eight units end of October. Another fifteen locomotives are expected to be delivered in February-March next year. This thirty-unit shipment is the first stage of the one-billion dollars deal (circa 882 million Euros) signed between Ukrainian Railways and GE Transportation in February 2018 for supplying 225 freight locomotives until 2034.
Geography of TE33A
The TE33A diesel locomotive was designed by GE Transportation on the basis of the Evolution Series, especially for 1520 millimetre gauge railways. The first ten units of this type were produced in GE’s plant in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 2009. The others were manufactured in the facilities of Kazakh rolling stock manufacturer JSC Lokomotiv Kurastyru Zauyty, the joint venture of GE Transportation and Transmashholding. More than 300 locomotives type TE33A have been produced in Kazakhstan since that time, except the units for the Ukrainian order due to sanctions against Russia.
Most of the TE33A locomotives run on the network of Kazakhstan Temir Zholy. However, some of them were exported to railway operators in other countries: Kyrgyzstan (five units), Azerbaijan (four units), Tajikistan (three units), Mongolia (two units), Turkmenistan (one unit). Also, one locomotive type TE33A was purchased in 2013 by Ukrainian cement producer Ivano-Frankivskcement.