Wabtec brings new locomotive to Brazilian market


Equipment manufacturer Wabtec has launched a new diesel-electric locomotive for the Brazilian rail freight market. The ES44ACi model features new engine technology and rail operators Suzano, MRS and Rumo are set to receive first deliveries this month.

“The ES44ACi locomotive features the Evolution Series diesel engine, producing the same 4,500 horsepower with just 12 cylinders compared to its predecessor the 16-cylinder FDL engine,” Daniela Ornelas, Vice President of Products at Wabtec, said.

Dual-intake air cooling

The novel locomotive design aims to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by over five percent compared to previous generations and is the culmination of eight years of work by Wabtec and partners. This represents greater energy efficiency and lower emissions,” Ornelas explains, “thanks to a project aimed at the thermal efficiency of combustion combined with a dual-intake air cooling system adopted in these four-stroke turbocharged engines equipped with electronic fuel injection.”

The locomotive are Tier 4 emissions-compliant and will feature a two-fan split-cooling system. The new units will be fabricated at Wabtec’s manufacturing facility at Contagem in the centre of the state of Minas Gerais.

25 orders

The group has secured 25 initial orders and expects the locomotives unique fuel consumption characteristics to prove a hit in the Brazilian rail freight sector. The use of high-strength materials in the ES44ACi is also expected to attract interest as it will improve reliability and dramatically reduce upkeep costs. Wabtec estimates the interval between major maintenance may be improved by approximately 28 percent, lowering operating costs over the
locomotive’s life cycle.

“The objective is to improve Brazil’s heavy-haul rail network and drive sustainability,” a spokesperson for Wabtec said, adding that the new orders will “reinforce technological initiatives focused on operational efficiency and safety”.

Optimised operations

Logistic services provider Rumo is the largest railway operator in Brazil and will deploy its ES44ACi units for its operations in the states of Mato Grosso and São Paulo. Headquartered in Curitiba, the company owns and operates a network with five rail concessions, extending over approximately 13,500 kilometres of railway.

“Our priority is to promote an increasingly sustainable operation, not only in the economic aspect, but also in the social and environmental aspects,” Marcus Rogério Vianna Jorge, Director of Undercarriage at Rumo, notes. “With the constant renewal of the fleet, we have gained in efficiency in the flow of agricultural and industrial loads, in addition to contributing significantly to the reduction of emissions.”

Expansion drive

Logistics operator MRS operates a smaller network of 1,643-kilometers in in the states of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. It expects the new electric models to optimise their operations and help support the renewal of its existing concession that is currently under consideration by the Federal Audit Court.

“MRS has been investing heavily in expanding its fleet to contribute even more efficiency to the national logistics system, generating gains in energy efficiency,”Anelise Salzani, General Manager of Maintenance Engineering at MRS, comments. “We are acquiring the ES44ACi because we expect it to be a locomotive with high power and lower diesel consumption.

It incorporates two pillars of the company: the search for more productivity and the reduction in the volume of emissions, the consolidation of a more sustainable operation.”

With operations in over 50 countries worldwide, Wabtec is one of the largest global providers of equipment, systems, digital solutions, and services for the rail freight sector. “Our sustainability vision is grounded in operating in an ethical and socially responsible manner, maintaining a culture of safety, protecting the environment, and supporting our communities and developing our employees. This was the main concept applied to the
ES44ACi. We therefore want to build a better and more sustainable future,” Juliano Andrade,
Latam Commercial Director at Wabtec, said.

Author: Malcolm Ramsay

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