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mtu to supply Series 1600 engines for maintenance vehicles in Gotthard and Ceneri Base Tunnels

Posted on 01 July 2014

mtu Series 1600 engines are set to play a vital role in the maintenance of the new Gotthard and Ceneri Base Tunnels.

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  • Harsco Rail Europe orders 13 mtu PowerPacks for infrastructure maintenance vehicles
  • mtu PowerPacks with Series 1600 rail engines have a power rating of 700 kW
  • Vehicles will be operated in Gotthard and Ceneri Base Tunnels

Friedrichshafen, July 1, 2014. mtu Series 1600 engines are set to play a vital role in the maintenance of the new Gotthard and Ceneri Base Tunnels. MTU Friedrichshafen, a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG, will deliver 13 PowerPacks with Series 1600 rail engines for maintenance vehicles. Their task will be to ensure that rail operations on the new north-south Gotthard axis are smooth, safe and on time. The vehicles will be built by Harsco Rail Europe for SBB Swiss Federal Railways.

The mtu PowerPacks for the Harsco vehicles are diesel-electric underfloor units which deliver 700 kW each. At the heart of the package is a twelve-cylinder mtu 12V 1600 R80L diesel engine. The unit is equipped with SCR exhaust gas aftertreatment technology and meets the stringent requirements of EU Stage IIIB emissions regulations. Along with the engine and generator, the PowerPack contains all the subsidiary assemblies needed to drive the vehicle. The maintenance vehicles are bi-mode railcars which operate as pure electric units when overhead power lines are available and run on diesel-electric power on non-electrified routes. This helps to further reduce their already low emissions levels. The vehicles carry a wide range of maintenance equipment including cranes, generators and work platforms. The mtu PowerPacks will also generate the power for this equipment. The first PowerPacks are scheduled for delivery to Harsco Rail at the beginning of 2015.

Initially, the vehicles will go into service in the Gotthard Base Tunnel. From 2019 they will also operate in the Ceneri Base Tunnel. They will be based at the SBB maintenance and intervention centers at Erstfeld and Biasca.

The two Base Tunnels Gotthard and Ceneri are the centrepiece of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA). NRLA is the biggest construction project in Switzerland and is seen as a project of the century. With a length of 57 kilometers, the new Gotthard Base Tunnel is one of the longest rail tunnels in the world. Regular passenger and freight train operations are scheduled to begin in December 2016. On the high-speed track through the tunnel, passenger trains will be able to travel at up to 250 kph so that the journey time between Zurich and Milan which is currently around four hours, will be cut to less than three hours. The tunnel is also intended to make an important contribution to environmental protection by making it possible to switch a large proportion of heavy transport from road to rail.
Wolfgang Boller Spokesman Regional and Business Media
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