Wabtec unveils new locomotive for Brazilian market

By Jack Burke29 March 2022

Incorporates Evolution Series diesel engine 

Wabtec is introducing a new heavy-haul locomotive model to Brazil’s freight rail market.

The ES44ACi diesel-electric locomotive will first be delivered to Suzano, MRS and Rumo in the coming weeks, the company said.

“The ES44ACi locomotive features the Evolution Series diesel engine, producing the same 4500 HP with just 12 cylinders compared to its predecessor the 16-cylinder FDL engine,” said Daniela Ornelas, Vice President of Products at Wabtec. “This represents greater energy efficiency and lower emissions, thanks to a project aimed at the thermal efficiency of combustion combined with a dual-intake air cooling system adopted in these four-stroke turbocharged engines equipped with electronic fuel injection.”

This engine technology enables the locomotive to reduce fuel consumption and emissions by more than 5% compared to its predecessor. The high-strength materials used in the ES44ACi also improve the reliability of the diesel engine and dramatically increase intervals for major maintenance by approximately 28%, lowering operating costs over the locomotive’s life cycle.

The effort to bring the ES44ACi locomotive to Brazil’s rail market was an eight-year project with operators. The objective is to improve Brazil’s heavy-haul rail network and drive sustainability, the company said. To date, the company already secured orders for 25 locomotives from Suzano, Rumo and MRS.

“Our sustainability vision is grounded in operating in an ethical and socially responsible manner, maintaining a culture of safety, protecting the environment, and supporting our communities and developing our employees,” said Juliano Andrade, Latam Commercial Director at Wabtec. “This was the main concept applied to the ES44ACi. We, therefore, want to build a better and more sustainable future.”

Rumo is the largest railway operator in Brazil and the new acquisitions for the fleet reinforce the technological initiatives focused on operational efficiency and safety.

“Our priority is to promote an increasingly sustainable operation, not only in the economic aspect but also in the social and environmental aspects,” said Marcus Rogério Vianna Jorge, director of Undercarriage at Rumo. “With the constant renewal of the fleet, we have gained in efficiency in the flow of agricultural and industrial loads, in addition to contributing significantly to the reduction of emissions.”

For MRS, a logistics operator that manages a 1643-km rail network in the states of Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the ES44ACi will help optimize their system. The new locomotive adds more technology and advances to the national railway sector, which the renewal of its concession is heading towards the final stretch at the Federal Audit Court.

“MRS has been investing heavily in expanding its fleet to contribute even more efficiency to the national logistics system, generating gains in energy efficiency,” said the General Manager of Maintenance Engineering at MRS, Anelise Salzani. “We are acquiring the ES44ACi because we expect it to be a locomotive with high power and lower diesel consumption. It incorporates two pillars of the company: the search for more productivity and the reduction in the volume of emissions, the consolidation of a more sustainable operation.”

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