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Operail to lease rebuilt GE locos to Ukrainian operator

19 Feb 2019

EUROPE: Estonian freight operator Operail has awarded CZ Loko a contract to supply kits for the rebuilding of a further four of its C30-7Ai diesel-electric locomotives to the C30-M design, taking the total to seven. Operail has also agreed to lease two C30-M locos to Ukrainian freight forwarder Lemtrans as part of a plan to offer locos for lease outside Estonia.

‘These first two environmentally-friendly locomotives that are headed to Ukraine are just a tenth of our capacity’, said Operail CEO Raul Toomsalu after the deals were signed. ‘In total, we plan to modernise 19 locomotives in stage one.’

The C30-7Ai Co-Co locomotives were built by GE in Erie in the 1980s as Type C30-7A, originally for Conrail. They subsequently ended up with CSX and Norfolk Southern, before 19 were rebuilt as the broad-gauge Type C30-7Ai in 2003 for use in Estonia. The current remanufacturing programme is being undertaken at Operail’s depot in Tapa. CZ Loko is supplying all the above-the-frames components including the cabs, superstructure, Caterpillar 3512C-HD engine, alternator and the cooling, braking and electronic control equipment; only the frames and bogies are retained.

The first of the rebuilt locos are now being used for heavy shunting and to haul container trains between Koidula and the port of Muuga.