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Tunnel Vision For MTU PowerPacks

Posted on July 1, 2014


MTU Friedrichshafen, a subsidiary of Rolls-Royce Power Systems AG, announced that it will deliver 13 PowerPacks with Series 1600 rail engines for maintenance vehicles for the new Gotthard and Ceneri Base Tunnels.

The tunnels are the centerpiece of the New Rail Link through the Alps (NRLA), one of the biggest construction projects in Switzerland. At 35.4 miles (57 km), 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 155 mph (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 rail maintenance 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. 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. The vehicles carry a wide range of maintenance equipment including cranes, generators and work platforms, which will also use power from the MTU PowerPacks.

At the heart of the MTU PowerPack is a 12-cylinder MTU 12V 1600 R80L diesel engine. The unit is equipped with SCR exhaust gas aftertreatment and meets the EU Stage 3b emissions regulations, MTU said.

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.