UKRAINE'S Poltava Locomotive Repair Plant has rolled out the first Class CME3P diesel-electric locomotive to be refurbished for Ukrainian Railways in collaboration with Czech rolling stock firm CZ Loko.

A Czech-Ukrainian joint venture was established earlier this year to refurbish locomotives from the CME3 family, which ran to 7 459 examples of classes CME3, CME3M and CME3E built by the former CKD Praha works from 1963 to 1995.

An initial 20 Class CME3 locomotives will be refurbished for UZ and Lithuanian Railways at a cost of €30m, but in the longer term the joint venture partners expect to undertake work on more than 200 locos.

The modernisation involves replacing the CKD Type K6S 310 DR engines with Caterpillar Type 3508 or 3512 models, along with new AC/DC transmission, electrical equipment and microprocessor controls. The underframes are being rebuilt, and bodies partially renewed.

CZ Loko is supplying complete auxiliary drives, traction and electrical equipment plus the driver's cabs, and to meet demand a KC180m production hall will be opened at its Jihlava plant.

The prototype modernised Class CME3P loco was exhibited at the EXPO 1520 trade fair in Moscow during September. The upgrade is based on CZ Loko's refurbishment of the Czech version of the Class CME3, Class 770, the first of which emerged as 774.701 in February 2006 after being rebuilt for coal mining company Sokolovská Uhelná. A second prototype for SU followed in September 2007.

Class 774.7 is powered by a Caterpillar 3512B/631 engine rated at 1 455 kW, through a Type 1FC2 631 alternator by Siemens Drásov. The loco weighs 120 tonnes, the overall length is 17 520 mm, and the maximum speed is 90 km/h. It is equipped with an electro-dynamic brake rated at 1 790 kW, and a microprocessor control system supplied by NES Nová Dubnica.