Freightliner, the UK's newest American-built locomotive, 70017, seen at Ipswich just ten days after arriving in England.

It is in the company of slightly older sister locomotive 70007, January 20 2012. Click to enlarge. 

(Geof Sheppard, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons)



The GE PowerHaul is a class of mainline diesel-electric export locomotives designed by General Electric. Thirty locomotives were ordered by Freightliner in 2007; the first locomotive was completed in July 2009 at GE's Erie, Pennsylvania, plant.

The Turkish state owned rolling stock manufacturer Tülomsaş has a manufacturing agreement with GE to produce PowerHaul locomotives for European, African and Middle-Eastern markets. The Tülomsaş plant produced its first PowerHaul locomotive in February 2011. In November 2011 Australian engineering firm UGL Rail announced it was to develop a narrow gauge version of the class in association with GE.

Three main subclasses exist: PH37ACmi for UK railways, PH37ACi a version for mainland Europe and elsewhere built to UIC 505-1 vehicle gauge, and PH37ACmai a version for 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) gauge lines.

Versions of the locomotive include the Class 70 used by Freightliner (UK), the DE36000 of the Turkish State Railways and the Korail Class 7600 (South Korea).

History and design

The PowerHaul Class are a 6 axle Co-Co design for heavy mainline freight operations - the design originated in a collaboration between Freightliner who required a more powerful freight locomotive, and General Electric who needed a launch customer for its entry into the European rolling stock market. The locomotives are the first GE locomotives manufactured for the European market since the Blue Tiger locomotive built in collaboration with AdTranz.

To fit within European and UK mass and loading gauge restrictions GE used a relatively high revving engine (1500rpm), giving a 20% increase in power-weight ratio. The engine uses the same design of transmission system as used in GE's North American AC drive locomotives: an AC alternator, with AC output rectified to an intermediate DC line, with separate inverters and inverter control for each traction motor, auxiliary power is also supplied by the DC link, using electronic inverter based load control. The PM37ACmi design uses a General Electric GTA series alternator, and 5GEB30 axle hung traction motors.

The cab includes heating, air conditioning, and acoustic insulation; the driving controls are 'dial-less' - information is displayed using electronic panel displays. The cab design includes consideration for GSM-R and European Rail Traffic Management System. One innovative feature of the design was the use of electrical power generated when using dynamic braking to supply auxiliary power - resulting in increase in overall efficiency.

Freightliner placed an order for 30 units (originally designated JS37ACi) in November 2007. The first two locomotives manufactured were for Freightliner in the United Kingdom, construction began in May 2009 in Erie, with much of the UK compatibility testing taking place in the US before shipping to the UK. Two locomotives were delivered to the UK in October 2009, and received permission for service use by December 2009.

In December 2008 GE Transportation reached a manufacturing agreement with Tülomsas for the production of future PowerHaul locomotives for Eurasian, and African markets; the initial contract was reported to be for production of 50 units, 30 for GE and 20 for TCDD. In February 2011 Tülomsas completed the assembly of its first PowerHaul from a kit manufactured at GE's Erie plant; the locomotive, built to a UK loading gauge was shipped to the United Kingdom in October 2012.

In April 2012 GE announced that it was to use a PowerHaul locomotive to test its "Tempo" European Rail Traffic Management System system (Level 1 & 2). The locomotive is to be a Tülomsas built unit operated by an unnamed open access operator in Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany and Switzerland, with operations starting 2013. In September 2012 GE announced that freight operator Heavy Haul Power International (HHPI) would be the recipient of two to six locomotives, which would be used to obtain homologation certification.


PowerHaul locomotives use a PowerHaul P616 diesel engine; based on the Jenbacher J616 gas engine. The 16 cylinder 4 stroke engine uses the Miller cycle, which GE claims increases fuel efficiency over conventional 4 stroke engines, as well as reducing emissions. Rated power is 3,700 hp (2,800 kW) with an engine speed of 1500rpm; the engine meets EU stage IIIa emission standards.

General Electric claims that the engine is more fuel efficient than contemporary competitors, consuming 192g per kilowatt hour at full power output. EU IIIb emission standards are said to be achievable using exhaust gas recirculation and exhaust gas after-treatment by diesel oxidation catalyst.



Type and origin
Power type: Diesel-electric
Length: PH37ACmi : 21.710 m (71 ft 2.7 in), PH 37ACi : 21.7 m (71 ft 2.3 in)
Width: PH37ACmi : 2.642 m (8 ft 8.02 in), PH 37ACi : 2.9 m (9 ft 6.17 in)
Height: PH37ACmi : 3.917 m (12 ft 10.21 in), PH 37ACi : 4.3 m (14 ft 1.29 in)
Locomotive weight: PH37ACmi : 129 t (127 long tons; 142 short tons), PH 37ACi (L620 axle class): 120 to 126 t (118 to 124 long tons; 132 to 139 short tons), PH 37Aci (L621 axle class): 126–132 t (124–130 long tons; 139–146 short tons)
Fuel capacity: PH37ACmi : 6,000 L (1,300 imp gal; 1,600 US gal), PH 37ACi : 9,000 L (2,000 imp gal; 2,400 US gal)
Prime mover: GE PowerHaul P616 2,750 kW (3,700 hp) @ 1500rpm
Engine type: V16 engine, four stroke
Locomotive brake: Dynamic
Performance figures
Tractive effort Starting : PH37ACmi : 534 kN (120,000 lbf), PH 37ACi : 450 kN (100,000 lbf) or 544 kN (122,000 lbf)