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.