CURRENTLY undergoing acceptance trials in Australia are the first of 11 GT46Ce locomotives ordered from Downer EDI Rail by SCT Logistics for use on Melbourne - Perth freight services.

Locomotive on test
Photo: Mark Carter

The first private interstate rail freight operator, SCT currently hauls around one-third of Australia's east-west traffic, using covered bogie vans with sliding doors to maximise capacity for palletised loads (RG 12.07 p770). The A$75m order for the AC traction diesel-electric locos was announced in November 2005, and includes 10 years of maintenance.

The GT46Ce locomotives are powered by EMD 16-cylinder 710G3C engines rated at 3 356 kW gross power, or 3 207 kW traction. The electrical package includes a TA17 traction alternator with CA9E companion alternator and six ITB 2630 traction motors with tapered roller suspension bearings providing 500 kN of continuous tractive effort at 20 km/h.

The 134 tonne locos are controlled by EMD's EM2000 microprocessor system, which maximises adhesion and provides full diagnostics capability to the driver's cab via EMD's second generation Functionally Integrated Railroad Electronics screen instrumentation.

They are fitted with Downer EDI Rail's fabricated lightweight semi-steering bogies, designed to increase wheel life by reducing the friction between wheel flanges and the rails.