RUSSIA: Yakutia Railway has taken delivery of a Progress Rail EMD 2TE3250 twin-section diesel locomotive for testing in the region’s extreme environment.
The locomotive was transported to the US west coast by rail and then by sea to Vladivostok and to Yakutia.
The 1 520 mm gauge locomotive is able to operate on mix of 20% diesel and 80% gas, which is expected to be much cheaper than a pure diesel engine and to reduce particulate emissions. It is expected to have a range of 5 000 to 6 000 km.
Yakutia Railway said the locomotive’s technical parameters significantly exceed those of its current fleet, including power and braking force. The asynchronous traction drive control system will provide smooth deceleration, and an improved ability to handle curves should offer lower wear of the wheel flanges.
The testing is expected to lead to a series of proposals for design improvements, after which the operator plans to start assembling similar locomotives at its Aldan depot with an initially limited but increasing degree of localisation. A local company has worked on the cabs, and the railway has received proposals from Russian companies which are ready to produce some of the equipment which will be required.
Yakutia Railway was established in 1995 to build and operate a railway connecting Yakutsk with the Baikal Amur Mainline.
The 462 km running northeast from the BAM route at Berkakit to Tommot was opened in 2004, with the 368 km Tommot – Yakutsk section opening for freight in 2013 and passenger services in 2019.