Siemens Charger

2013; Siemens signs a 225-locomotive frame contract with several US states. This paves the way for Siemens to make the Charger a new standard locomotive for passenger trains in North America. The interesting thing is that these operators all work under entirely different conditions, have different fleets and service demands, are active in entirely different places, east coast, west coast, the mid-west, but Siemens has managed to supply them with a locomotive that can meet all these variable conditions.

Customer overview:

2018: Amtrak (US)
2018: Via Rail (CA)
2018: San Diego NCTD – Coaster (US)
2018: San Joaquin – RRC (US)
2015: MDOT Maryland – MARC (US)
2014: IDOT llinois and Wisconsin – Amtrak Midwest (US)
2014: WSDOT Washington (US)
2014: Caltrans California (US)
2014: All Aboard Florida (Brightline) > Virgin Trains USA (US)

Siemens Charger SC-44; the concept

Originally Siemens developed to Charger locomotive for regional services. Modern technology meets solid a construction that meets all stringent US federal standards as formulated by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). It 16-cilinder Cummins diesel engine from Cummins feed IGBT traction convertors that provide single axle control for up to 125 mph (200 km/h). Key points during development were component redundancy, maintenance and energy efficiency. The Charger has a electronically controlled pneumatic braking system and recuperative braking.

Its machine room layout is based on the European Vectron locomotive design. Its monocoque carbody structure is reinforced to fulfil the specified 800,000 lbs buff strength while offering full-width anti-climber engagement. Its push-back couplers are part of the Crash Energy Managment System.
The Charger has bogies which design is based on experience with Amtrak’s ACS-64 ‘CitiesSprinter’. They feature a center pin and traction pivot design, that offers a low connection to the locomotive body. The bogie itself is an integral welded structure.

More technical details:

  • Power type: AC Diesel Electric
  • Crashworthiness: CEM and AAR–S–580
  • Configuration: Bo’Bo’ / single axle control
  • Compatibility: all Amtrak DE and E Locomotives
  • Clearance Diagram: ‘D-05-1355 Amtrak’
  • Bogie centers: 13.050 mm
  • Curve radius track: min 250 ft (coupled to 85 ft coach)
  • Wheel diameter: new 1.118 mm, minimum 1.041 mm
  • Design speed: max 135 mph
  • Rated DE power: max. at 1800 rpm
  • HEP power supply: 800 kW (600 kW) (3AC 480 V) Redundant
  • Aux power supply: ≤ 150 kW (3AC 480 V) Redundant
  • Starting tractive effort: 290 kN
  • Continuous tractive effort: 275 kN
  • Brake effort: 120 kN

The Charger’s platform logic allows makes it possible to customize it specifically for long-distance traffic, cab car version and even a dual mode variant is possible.

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