ON SEPTEMBER 27 French National Railways announced that it had confirmed options to order a further 120 Prima electric freight locos from Alstom Transport SA, and taken another option for 80 more. Deliveries are scheduled to run from October 2005 to March 2007.

The contract was formally approved by the SNCF Board on September 26, completing the electric element in the programme to buy 604 new freight locomotives (RG 8.01 p497). All 120 locos in the latest build will be dual-system units of Class 427000 (25 kV 50Hz/1·5 kV DC). The option for 80 would be split between 50 dual-system locos and 30 three-system variants of Class 437500 with 3 kV DC capability.

A week earlier, the New Jersey Transit board approved a US$175·3m contract with Alstom for 33 diesel locomotives, to be delivered by the end of 2004. The 4000hp Prima locos will have General Motors 16-cylinder engines and AC traction motors; the bodyshells will be built in Valencia and fitted out at Alstom’s Hornell plant in New York state. Able to haul 10 single-deck or 8 double-deck coaches, they will replace 28 GP40s used on nine of NJT’s 12 commuter rail routes, and provide capacity for growth.

  • Bombardier rolled out the first of 24 ALP46 electric locos for NJ Transit at its Kassel works on October 18. Two of the 5 300 kW units based on DB’s Class 101 design are to be shipped in November for commissioning tests at Pueblo.