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Corus unveils new range of British-designed and manufactured locomotives

The first of their type in over 15 years Corus Northern Engineering Services (CNES) has unveiled its brand new range of British-designed and manufactured locomotives, the first of this type of locomotive to be manufactured in the UK for more than 15 years.

Corus has already commissioned the building of four of these new locomotives for its Port Talbot works. These four robust, 100-tonne, 1000hp, shunting locomotives will be used to transport liquid iron and steel products. The locomotives will be manufactured at Corus’ Transport and Fabrication Workshops at Scunthorpe by CNES, its engineering division. The first locomotive will be delivered at the end of 2007.

Mark Jones, business development engineer at CNES, comments: “The new locomotives are modular in design so customers can choose from a range of engine, transmission and safety options. Corus has been repairing and rebuilding locomotives since the early days of steam and is now the largest private operator of industrial rail networks in the UK. This venture means that Corus is now the only operator in Europe to design and build its own locomotives, and to achieve this we have drawn on our extensive practical experience to design and develop the new range, which we believe ideally suits customers’ requirements.”

The locomotives are suitable for most industrial and heavy haul applications and pan-European orders are expected to come from a diverse range of industries, including mining and quarrying, petrochemicals, paper mills and medium-distance mainline transportation.

The locomotives are available in two, three, four or six-axle configurations, the latter two being bogie arrangements. The design currently caters for axle loads of up to 25 tonnes to suit track gauges from 610mm to 1,676mm. Frame and superstructure can be manufactured to suit a variety of loading gauges, with a choice of either single and twin cab models.

Customers can choose from a range of heavy-duty diesel engines up to 3000hp, with either electric or hydraulic transmissions. Diesel-hydraulic models are based on a range of purpose-built axle drive gearboxes. All models have a choice of the latest self-steering coil sprung, taper roller bearing axle boxes or a more traditional cast steel axle box with sliding axle guides.

Mark Jones continues: “We’re offering customers a bespoke solution that minimises whole life costs of the vehicle and reduced maintenance costs. The locomotives have many safety features, including a low profile, low height canopy, offering the driver improved all-round visibility. Reduced noise and exhaust emissions from the latest engine and transmission systems are additional features along with an option to equip the vehicle with remote radio control. A central microprocessor and ‘drive-by-wire’ technology manages the traction control and prevents wheel slip and slide.”

The locomotives meet all current and pending Health & Safety legislation, Operational and Environmental standards. All major components on CNES locomotives carry a two-year warranty and the complete vehicle is designed for a service life of more than 30 years. The modular design of the vehicles also ensures that components are readily replaceable and interchangeable to facilitate the repair and maintenance of the fleet. This will be particularly beneficial for those customers who choose to operate several Corus locomotives, but in different configurations from across the range.

The locomotives were designed by UK-based design consultancy Railcraft Associates based in Doncaster, drawing heavily on Corus’ extensive expertise as an operator of industrial railways. Railcraft has an excellent pedigree in industrial locomotive design and development.

CNES is an engineering support organisation, with bases in Teesside, Scunthorpe, Workington and Rotherham. CNES offers a wide range of asset management services and support to all types of companies with industrial processes, including those operating internal railways, and those operating mainline freight railways. CNES has an extensive Railway Workshop, with 112 tonne lifting capability, to maintain the Scunthorpe fleet of 32 locomotives and 400 items of rolling stock that work on the site’s 100 miles of track. There is a machine shop for repairs to and the manufacture of railway components, as well as structural steel workshops that produce engineered fabrications of up to 90 tonnes. Corus’ site rail operations have benefited from many other CNES innovations in recent years such as “Intelligent Points”, retro fitting of one-man locomotive operation with remote control, traction control and anti wheel slip and slide.

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