Swiss Firm Builds World's 'Most Powerful' Train

Capable of generating up to 5,000kW, the locomotives will be coupled together and tasked with pulling loads of up to 850 tons up slopes with a 10.4% gradient which makes them 50% more powerful than those currently in use.

Swiss manufacturer Stadler Rail unveiled on June 6 a train that is 50% more powerful than its competitors, earning it a multi-million franc deal with a Brazilian buyer.

Described by Stadler as "by far the largest and most powerful rack-and-pinion locomotive ever built", a total of seven engines have been ordered by Brazilian purchaser MRS Logistica at a cost of 60 million Swiss francs (US$62 million).

The electric trains -- each weighing nearly 120 tons and measuring 18.7 meters (20.5 yards) -- are to be put to work carrying iron ore between Sao Paolo and Santos, the largest port in South America.

Capable of generating up to 5,000kW, the locomotives will be coupled together and tasked with pulling loads of up to 850 tons up slopes with a 10.4% gradient. That makes them 50% more powerful than those currently in use, Stadler said.

Once finished in the next few weeks, the first two trains will be taken to Basel and transported to Brazil via the Belgian port of Antwerp.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

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