Saturday, May 15, 2010

Downer introduces a new green, fuel-efficient locomotive to Australia

Downer EDI Limited (Downer) today announced an agreement between its Rail division and National Railway Equipment Company (NREC) to offer NREC’s N-ViroMotive multi-engine locomotive to the Australian market.

Downer Rail CEO, Guy Wannop said as the sole NREC representative in Australia, the N-ViroMotive locomotive complemented and further extended Downer’s existing stable of heavy-haul and longrange locomotives which are manufactured in conjunction with technology partner Electro Motive Diesel.

“The new locomotives provide significant improvements over existing light axle load locomotives currently operating in Australia, including increased efficiency and reductions in emissions, noise, fuel usage and maintenance costs,” Mr Wannop said.

“N-ViroMotive is a, low-axle load locomotive that is highly versatile and will enhance the efficiency of fleets for many Australian operators.

“In addition to the delivery of N-ViroMotive locomotives, Downer offers full maintenance support of the multi-engine locomotives to its clients,” Mr Wannop said.

Commonly called ‘The Utility’ as a result of its flexibility and environmental and operational efficiencies, the N-ViroMotive is manufactured by NREC in the United States to an Australian specification.

The multi-engine technology allows power units to operate at the point of, or close to, their peak efficiency and to be shut off if they are not required, thus conserving energy.

The locomotives are designed for low axle load applications in the range of 15 tonne to 19 tonne and are designed to fit both the QR and WestNet clearance gauges.

The versatility of the multi-engine design allows the locomotives to have a power unit removed for lower axle-load track requirements and, with a bogie change switch from narrow to standard gauge, a single locomotive can be used in different seasonal or functional applications as required.

The President of NREC, Lawrence Beal said Downer was selected as the Australian distributor following a significant strategic research and investment program in the local supply of NREC products.

“Our strategic global approach to our customers is to supply low-cost responsive options in locomotive delivery and will, I believe, blend well with Downer’s proven reputation for delivering quality products and value-add services to the Australian rail industry,” Mr Beal said.

Developed in 2007, there are now more than 300 N-ViroMotive locomotives in service around the world.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What are the best examples of urban rail projects in Australia?

This article gave some interesting views and insights on urban rail and how such projects can contribute postively to the local community and urban sustainability.

Urban rail and the sustainability challenge
(Rail Express, 28th April 2010)
By Jane Scanlon, Senior sustainability consultant at Manidis Roberts.

The majority of interviewees believed that the urban rail sector could do more in the area of sustainability and that a key barrier to achieving urban rail project sustainability outcomes was a lack of definition of what sustainability actually means for an urban rail project. Despite this lack of definition, interviewees discussed a number of key attributes of a sustainable urban rail project – attributes which can be separated into the “macro-level” and the “project-level”.

The discussion is hot on our Linkedin group - click here to have your say!

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Waratah Central to Sydney's Transport Future

Downer EDI Ltd (Downer) today confirmed the manufacture of the first six Waratah train sets is well underway, and looks forward to the delivery of the first full set into service in late 2010.
Downer CEO, Geoff Knox said the prototype test train arrived at Sydney’s Central Station this
morning, having successfully commenced network testing on the Hunter network during the past

“We are very pleased with the results of initial testing on the Hunter network. This marks a significant milestone for the project,” Mr Knox said.

“We are now into the production process and look forward to delivering the first eight-car train to RailCorp later this year. We remain committed to the delivery of 78 trains into service by the end of 2013.

“The fleet of 78 Waratah trains will be in service on the Sydney network for a minimum of 30 years and the prototype testing is part of our commitment to delivering and maintaining a safe and reliable fleet that will provide passengers with greater comfort and service,” Mr Knox said.