KAZAKHSTAN: National railway KTZ has announced that its first two GE Transportation/LKZ TEP33A locomotives have entered trial passenger service on the Almaty – Aktogay route.
KTZ and GE Transportation signed an order for 110 of the Evolution Series locomotives at InnoTrans 2012. They are a passenger version of the TE33A design, with differences including an increase in the maximum speed from 120 km/h to 160 km/h.
The cabs are designed to offer a better working environment than older KTZ locomotives, with driver instructor Berik Amanbaev saying the difference was like going from a Soviet Moskvich car to a Mercedes.
The locomotives are being supplied in kit form from GE’s Grove City and Erie plants in the USA, for assembly by KTZ’s LKZ subsidiary in Astana. Škoda Electric is supplying the drive systems including 475 kW traction motors, wheelsets and gears. Testing of the first locomotive began in 2014.