Progress Rail has delivered a pair of EMD GT38H diesel-battery-electric hybrid locomotives, designed to navigate the challenging terrain of Brazil’s rail network.
These advanced Joule series locomotives, powered by a combination of a Caterpillar 3512 diesel engine, a generator, and a substantial lithium-ion battery bank, were handed over to Rumo Logistics, the nation’s leading freight company. Ordered in September 2022, these innovative machines are set to embark on a rigorous six-month trial across the steep grades and tight curves of Rumo’s narrow-gauge South Network.
Efficiency and Power in Hybrid Design
The GT38H, boasting a speed of 60km/h and 2.2MW power, is the first hybrid locomotive to enter revenue freight service, equipped with capabilities for regenerative and external battery charging. Its impressive tractive efforts and battery capacity highlight its design for efficiency and power.
Rumo anticipates the hybrids will significantly outperform traditional diesel-electrics, projecting up to 45% in fuel savings and a notable decrease in emissions and noise levels. Mr. Marcus Jorge, Rumo’s director of maintenance, shared:
“This is an important step in analyzing the feasibility of expanding the use of hybrid locomotives in our fleet.”
A Vision for Cleaner, Safer Rail Operations
Rumo’s adoption of these hybrids signals a commitment to eco-friendlier operations and heightened safety, potentially revolutionizing Brazil’s rail industry. With a keen eye on performance, the company views these locomotives as harbingers of future advancements, hoping to adapt the technology for broader-gauge and denser routes in their North Network.
Mr. Jorge, alluding to aspirations for expanded hybrid applications that align with Rumo’s environmental and operational goals, says:
“We are optimistic about this project and the technological advances this locomotive represents.”