VLI Wabtec loco order

BRAZIL: Railway and port operator VLI has awarded Wabtec a R$200m contract to supply nine ES43BBI Evolution Series locomotives to support a growth in freight traffic.

The order was signed on March 1 and the first locos are scheduled to be delivered in about 18 months. They will be used on the Ferrovia Centro-Atlântica line, which carries freight to the ports in Espírito Santo for customers in the steel, agribusiness, coal, fertiliser, fuel and cellulose sectors.

The 1 000 mm gauge ES43BBI is designed for Brazilian conditions, with a 12 cylinder 4 500 hp engine, eight powered axles, and a ‘technologically advanced’ AC-traction system with individual axle control and extra blowers directly integrated onto the traction motors.

The VLI locos will be equipped with the RailConnect 360 software package, including Trip Optimizer, Locotrol distributed power system, PTC and PTC 2.0.

‘The Wabtec ES43BBi was developed in Brazil by Brazilian engineers’, said Danilo Miyasato, President of Wabtec LatAm. ‘Given the challenges posed by the metre gauge and national logistics, Wabtec combined VLI’s needs with the most innovative AC locomotive technology. Today, there are more than 50 locomotives of this model in operation in the country with high levels of reliability and availability.’

Growth plans

VLI is studying further opportunities to increase freight volumes.

It has signed a memorandum of understanding with Vports covering expansion works at the port of Vitória which could see R$200m of investment in railways, ports and terminals to support an estimated 5 million tonne increase in import and export flows, and this could require further orders for wagons and locomotives.

Negotiations are underway with the regulatory authorities for the early renewal of the FCA operating concession, which Fábio Marchiori, VLI Interim CEO & director of Finance, Supply Chain & Company Services, said would ’bring new increases in cargo volumes and, consequently, more incentives for national wagon and locomotive manufacturers’.