Friday, March 23, 2012

CN Buying New Power

IC 2458 in Winnipeg
Reuters is reporting that CN will purchase 65 new and 96 used locomotives to handle "heavier traffic". The new locomotives, for delivery in 2013-2014, are to be:
  • 35 GE ES44AC
  • 30 GM SD70ACe
This is remarkable because these will be the first locomotives CN has purchased with AC traction motors. Traditionally CN has used direct-current (DC) traction motors in its entire fleet. Canadian Pacific has used AC locomotives for years but their traffic tends to be more bulk hauling than intermodal.

AC traction motors are better suited for low speed, heavy hauling like coal, sulphur, and other big, heavy unit trains. DC units have a lower purchase cost and easier to maintain. See this EMD presentation to see the merits of AC traction.

CN's news release says that CN will purchase the following used locomotives this year:
  • 42 GE Dash 8-40C
  • 11 GE Dash 8-40C that were leased (ex-LMS, see above photo for an example)
  • 43 EMD SD60 (rumoured to be ex-GMTX)
I shot IC 2458 a couple of days ago and it should be one of the 11 Dash-840Cs to be purchased from lease. See Trackside Treasure's excellent article on CN leased locomotives for more information on these and others.

So... new locomotive types on CN in 2013 and 2014. Something to look forward to!


Zartok-35 said...

Their finally buying into AC traction? So much for being an all-DC road. CN is losing all the quirks that make them unique. None the less, this is still pretty exciting! These new AC units should be interesting to see.

Anonymous said...

What will be the advantage of this AC traction motors?

Canadian Train Geek said...

Two advantages to AC - much higher adhesion (less wheel slip) and lower maintenance. They are more expensive to purchase, though.