Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bombardier-Built, Dual-powered Locomotive Now in Service

Photo Credit: Bombardier Transportation

Debuting radical, new transit technology, the New Jersey commuter tracks is testing a dual-power locomotive for the first time in the United States. Powered by either two diesel engines or off an overhead catenary wire, the Bombardier-built ALP-45DP locomotive could become a more refreshing standard in urban mass transit. Advertised as more fuel efficient, the dual-powered locomotive will also reduce the amount of emissions as well as noise.

Entering service with the NJ TRANSIT, the ALP-45DP locomotive when towing can move at 125 miles per hour on diesel power or 100 miles per hour when rolling on electric mode. "With the ability to run under both diesel power and alternating current electric power, these new locomotives provide greater operating flexibility for our clients." said Christopher Holliday, senior vice president for the design, inspection and test engineering support firm STV.

Traditionally, locomotives utilized since the Second World War relied upon diesel fuel powering electrical turbines. diesel-electric trains have been the industry standard for passenger as well as freight movement along rails. For longer trips, the use of diesel-electric is efficient and cost-effective but its application in dense residential areas is questioned. With technology exhibited in the ALP-45DP locomotive, the dual power system in the could avail the possibility that the diesel engine could be shut off where ever an overhead catenary wire will be installed. The design of the ALP-45DP locomotive allows the possibility for electric infrastructure to be built into diesel train tracks gradually.

Now running in New Jersey, there will be a total of 36 of the locomotives are planned for the rails in the state. In the near future, 20 of the ALP-45DP locomotives are will run in the Canadian city of Montreal under Agence Métropolitaine de Transport.

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