LOCOMOTIVE: Malaysian rolling stock manufacturing and maintenance company SMH Rail has rolled out its first H10 Series diesel-electric locomotive. It is designed for use by African freight operators, with Tanzania Railways Corp as the launch customer.
Unveiling the first locomotive at a virtual ceremony on August 20, SMH Rail Chairman & Managing Director PK Nara said the H10 Series was designed to haul long-distance heavy freight trains, with the ‘practical’ design incorporating ‘innovative engineering and technology’ to ensure high reliability and availability in challenging terrain and weather.
The H10 Series would enable freight operators to increase haulage capacity and reduce maintenance requirements, he said, lowering the life-cycle costs of environmentally-friendly rail transport to help attract traffic from the roads.
‘I am confident that these locomotives will bring enormous economic benefits to the African rail cargo industry’, said Nara.
The dual-cab 1 000 mm gauge locomotive complies with UIC standards. It is fitted with real-time remote monitoring and diagnostics equipment, enabling operators to obtain data on speed, fuel consumption, fault alerts and maintenance needs.
Nara said engagement with local suppliers was an important part of the project, and ‘with more than 60% of its content locally manufactured in Malaysia, the H10 Series marks a cornerstone achievement of our company in the global rail industry’.
International partners in the project include ABB which supplied 310 kW AMLX355 locomotive motors and additional traction motors. Polish company EC Engineering undertook structural strength and fatigue assessment of the body structure and bogie frame designs, and verified calculations for the wheelsets and bogie components.
In a message to the unveiling ceremony, former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad said ‘I am delighted to see a Malaysian company grow and become successful in its own right as a rolling stock manufacturer’, and ‘it is testament to the capability and professionalism of SMH Rail to have earned the trust and confidence of the World Bank’, which is financing the Tanzanian order.
‘I hope to see SMH Rail’s manufacturing plant in Rasa in Selangor be further developed to be the railway hub of the ASEAN region’, he added.