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Railpower Scales Back its Production Target for 2006

Railpower RP switcher.

Railpower Technologies, makers of systems for hybrid locomotives and switch engines and derivative markets, recently announced that it does not expect to meet its unit production target of 90 to 100 locomotives for 2006 and its gross margin target of 30% by the end of the fourth quarter. (Earlier post.)

The Company has reviewed its production capabilities and has revised its unit production target to between 50 and 65 units for 2006.

Railpower expects increased expenditures in the third and fourth quarters of 2006 as a result of increased inventory purchases necessary to increase production. Fixed costs will also temporarily increase as design and procurement activities accelerate to meet production demands. Management say they are comfortable with the projected cash position but are also in the process of evaluating certain financing alternatives in support of its business plan.

Railpower’s Green Goat hybrid switcher.

Subsequently, Railpower announced that Norfolk Southern Railway will purchase two Railpower RP-series multi-engine, low-emission, fuel-efficient, road switcher locomotives for delivery as kits in 2006. (Earlier post.)

The purchase order includes an option for Norfolk Southern to purchase additional units between 2007 and 2009.

Under the terms of the purchase order, Norfolk Southern will complete the conversion of its conventional locomotives with Railpower-supplied kits for the model RP20BD road switcher, which includes all components, drawings, and assembly support.

Railpower’s RP-Series road switchers can provide fuel savings of up to 35% and reduce NOx and particulate emissions by approximately 80% percent. With this order, Railpower’s order backlog currently stands at 152 units, of which 105 are RP-series locomotives.


allen Z

I do recall that GM sold off their diesel electric locomotive division just as demand for rail freight was taking off.
Perhaps this is a strategy to strip down and sell off divisions to keep their auto sector afloat and to buy some time for a turnaround. On the other hand, they were numero uno in the business.
GM also had hybrid bus tech that could had been transfered over to the locomotive divisions for hybrid configurations similar to GE's.
___On a side note, diesel hydraulic licomotives look appealing when factoring in regenerative breaking/stored power, especially for yard work. It would have to be fitted with a hydraulic CVT in order to avoid using torque converters, as well as mechanical gear boxes akin to automatic transmissions to deal with variable loads and speeds.

tom deplume

Diesel-hydraulic powertrains don't need CVTs or multigear transmissions. Diesel engine drives hydraluic pump to transfer fluid from reservoir to accumulator. High pressure fluid is fed to hydraulic motors direcetly coupled to drive wheels. Fluid exits motors to return to reservoir. Efficiency of the system is dependent on close gap tolerances between the moving and stationary parts of pumps and motors.


Arent dozens of these needed on commuter and freight rail? Andrey?


These are switcher locomotives, i.e. the small locomotives you see at rail yards assembling/disassembling trains. The rail version of stop-and-go traffic if you like.

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