Siemens SCV-42 (Charger)
The Siemens Charger locomotives were ordered in December 2018, following the conclusion of an RFQ and RFQ for a new Corridor Fleet. The $989 Million order includes 32 trainsets to replace the entire Corridor fleet. On May 26, 2021, the final livery was presented in a teaser by VIA Rail.
Built at Siemens' factory in Sacramento, California, the first unit was delivered to VIA Rail's Montreal Maintenance Facility on September 29th, 2021. The trainset underwent an extensive testing regime over the following year, since then, additional units have been delivered with the goal of having all 32 bi-directional trainsets in service by the end of 2025. As more trainsets were delivered, they have also been subjected to a strict testing regimen to ensure their readiness to enter service.
The Siemens Charger SCV-42 is a variation of the Charger family of locomotive used throughout North America, which is itself derived from the European Vectron locomotive series. It is a four-axle diesel-electric locomotive with a Cummins QSK95 prime-power. Should the Corridor be electrified in the future, the locomotives can be upgraded to operate in dual-mode: either from power generated by the prime-power or through an overhead centenary. The locomotives can reach a top-speed of 200 km/h depending on track conditions. The locomotives are also equipped with a 600kW HEP generator.
The new locomotives are considerably more energy-efficient and meet the most stringent environmental regulations. In diesel operation, they are fully compliant with EPA Tier 4 regulations, use Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF, to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions) and regenerative braking, which will convert the kinetic energy into power for the onboard equipment and lighting, reducing the reliance on HEP. This allows for the trains to essentially consume less diesel, reducing costs and benefiting the environment.
To ensure increased reliability and easier maintenance for Via Rail, the locomotives and trainsets are fully computerized with over 5000 different sensors to monitor and diagnose variation in performance, comfort, and operations, relaying the information both to the train conductor and Via's control centre where preventive and proactive maintenance efforts will be coordinated to ensure the highest standards in service, even before a serious issue occurs.
The SCV-42 was customized in numerous ways to correspond to the needs of Via Rail. While its prime power was derated slightly to 4,200 hp (compared to the 4,400 hp on the SC-44), it features a 8,320 L fuel tank, the largest currently offered on a Siemens Charger locomotive. This allows for a autonomy of 2,113 km between fueling stops. The front-end also features a nose-cone to enable a more streamlined design. As with all previous VIA locomotives, they also feature HID ditch lightsand a snow plow to better handle winter conditions. It is expected that the current locomotives and trainsets will have a service life of 30 years.
On November 30, 2021, a media event was held at Ottawa's Train Station to present the first trainset to the press.
Following the delivery of additional units and continuation of the testing programme, limited commercial service started on November 8, 2022, with locomotive 2202 between Montreal and Ottawa. We had the opportunity to be onboard the return trip to Montreal, Train 26, on the same day. Since then, the Charger locomotives / Venture trainsets have been slowly introduced into the regular service pattern.
|Length||71 ft 6 in (21.79 m)|
|Height||14 ft 0 in (4.27 m)|
|Width||10 ft 6 in (3.20 m)|
|Prime Power (Power Rating)||Cummins QSK95 (4,200 hp)|
|Weight||254,556 lb (120,001 kg)|
|Entry in Service||November 8, 2022 (Limited Commercial Service)|
End of 2025 (Complete Commercial Service)
|Fleet Size (Road Numbers)||32 (2200 - 2264)|