Trains For America

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GE Transportation’s Simonelli sees high speed rail developments

GE would like to get back in the passenger locomotive business. GE built 300 Genesis locomotives in the 1990s.

The occasion for this disclosure was the public unveiling of the ES44C4. It is part of what GE calls the “Evolution” family and, according to officials, may revolutionize rail transportation. The new model uses four drive motors instead of six, has fewer parts and is designed for better reliability. A fleet of 600 might replace an existing fleet of 800.

According to t the Erie Times News, GE Transportation President Lorenzo Simonelli, there are possible passenger applications as well

Simonelli hopes the new Evolution model could mark the beginning of something else — the return of GE Transportation to the passenger train business.

GE, which built more than 300 Genesis model passenger locomotives during the 1990s, wants to be a player in that industry, Simonelli said.

“GE has the know-how and the manufacturing base to develop the next generation of high-speed passenger locomotives,” he said. “We are ready to partner with the federal government and Amtrak to make high-speed rail a reality.”

Although Monday marked the official unveiling of the new locomotive, 25 of them already have been delivered to Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is helping GE Transportation continue long-term testing.

Filed under: Amtrak, Passenger Rail Transportatio Policy, United States High Speed Rail

13 Responses

  1. Ran says:

    Ironically, Amtrak has yet to finish paying for the Genesis units it acquired under George Warrington in the nineties, so perhaps GE will need to help find new homes for them as part of any deal to provide new diesels to that railroad.

  2. Scoopernicus says:

    They’re General Electric. Shouldn’t they be building electric locomotives?

  3. weinerdog43 says:

    “Shouldn’t they be building electric locomotives?”

    They are. The diesel engines power the electric motors.

  4. nfgusedautoparts says:

    if there were more third rail or more catenary in this country, i’m sure GE would be building pure electrics.

  5. MadPark says:

    nfg – Bingo! And how many miles of catenary are included in the US$8B or US$13B proposals for passenger trains? Probably zero – yep, the USA: still beholden to the oil companies and cartels!

  6. theo says:

    CA HSR will be all electric, so there’s some stimulus electrification right there.

    Some other miscellaneous projects include electrification, including repairs to the NE corridor.

    Also, this:
    http://www.icleiusa.org/action-center/financing-staffing/transportation-electrification

  7. Tentakles says:

    Independently of the CA HSR, Caltrain has electrification in its plan to be in service in 2015.

    http://www.caltrain.com/electrification.html

  8. Tentakles says:

    Independent of CA HSR, CalTrain intends to be electrified by 2015 – at least between SF and SJ.

    http://www.caltrain.com/electrification.html

  9. HockeyFan says:

    Amtrak needs to strike while demand for freight locomotives is at a record low and discuss a new order with GE now. Despite Amtrak still owing $ on the Genesis units, Amtrak’s financial situation is assured under a friendly Obama-Biden administration. They’ll be able to make their debt payments to GE and others. It is terribly expensive for GE to have an idle locomotive factory.
    Now is also a good time to order passenger cars, although builders are fewer.

  10. i’m sure GE would be building pure electrics. Thanks for sharing.

  11. worldcitizen says:

    so perhaps GE will need to help find new homes for them as part of any deal to provide new diesels to that railroad.

  12. nndb says:

    Bingo! And how many miles of catenary are included in the US$8B or US$13B proposals for passenger trains? Probably zero – yep, the USA: still beholden to the oil companies and cartels!

  13. congratulations for mr, simonelli

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