LOCOMOTIVE: Adtranz and GE Transportation Systems unveiled a prototype lightweight diesel at a spectacular premiere in Kassel on November 12. The two companies were also celebrating their first order: 30 locos with 3000hp engines will be built for Pakistan Railways for delivery in mid-1998.

Development of the family of modular locos was shared between both companies, with the prototype designed and built in just 12 months after GE and Adtranz signed a co-operation agreement on November 3 1995.

Adtranz took responsibility for all mechanical parts. Blue Tiger is aimed at parts of the world where infrastructure quality is not up to the standards of heavy-haul routes, and so it was important to keep axle loadings to a minimum. This is largely achieved through main frames about a third lighter than conventional structures; track forces are minimised by using Henschel-developed Flexifloat bogies.

GE Transportation Systems supplied the complete traction and control system packages. The series 7FDL diesel engine is available in a range of sizes (2200hp to 4400hp), with the prototype fitted with the 12-cylinder 3300hp version. This drives an alternator linked to the rectifier-inverter block, with a separate inverter for each axle's low-maintenance AC traction motor. Control and diagnostics are offered through GE's Integrated Function Control, with twin display panels on the driver's console.

The cab interior and distinctive exterior design was developed for Adtranz by BPR Design. The cab occupies the full width of the frame; a narrower body section between gives direct access to traction modules within. Options provide for a single cab with twin driving positions.

Adtranz and GE Transportation Systems expect total orders for Blue Tiger to reach US$1bn by 2000 - equivalent to about 700 locos.

Table I. Blue Tiger family details

Gauge (mm) 1000 to 1676

Speed (km/h) 120 (up to 200)

Axleload (tonnes) 14, 18, 20, 22, 25

Engine power (hp) 2200 to 4400

Engine type GE Series 7FDL

Brakes Air, electric down to 1 km/h

Options Air-conditioning, cruise control, distributed power, passenger gearing, blended brake, single/narrow cab