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EMD turns to the repowering market

02 May 2008

ENGINES: Locomotive manufacturer EMD has taken its first steps to re-enter the repowering business with the launch of the GP22ECO and GP32ECO scheduled for this month.

The GP22ECO concept - General Purpose, 2 150 hp, Tier 2 compliant, ECO­logy - is intended for repowering suitable low and medium-power four or six-axle EMD locomotives. The loco is stripped down to the frame, and fitted with an eight-?cylinder 710ECO engine and micro­processor controls. The original cab and body are reused. The GP32ECO is similar, using a 12-cylinder 710 engine rated at 3 150 hp.

Two demonstrators have been prod­uced. A former Canadian Pacific GP9 was rebuilt by Canadian Allied Diesel at its Lachine plant in Québec, and a former Kansas City Southern GP40 has been rebuilt by Metro East Industries in Illinois.

Repowering is expected to lower emissions and increase fuel economy by using Automatic Engine Start Stop, which shuts the engine down when the locomotive is idling for long periods. Average fuel savings with AESS are predicted to be 60 litres/day. The entire locomotive will be on a 184-day maintenance cycle and 90% of the parts will be compatible with existing 710-powered locomotives.

EMD's last venture into the repowering market was the BL20 in 1992. At that time, the builder required a trade-in unit to provide the nucleus on which to build a totally new design on the existing frame. Three demonstrators were built, but while mechanically sound, they generated no orders.