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Alstom unveils Prima II, its new modular locomotive platform


The Prima II is completely interoperable, capable of cross-border operation in Europe, and adaptable to railway systems worldwide. The first customer for the new Prima generation was the Moroccan National Railways (ONCF), which placed an order in November 2007.

The Prima II retains its predecessor's principles of ease of manufacturing and equipment standardization, and adds even more modularity. This allows Alstom to meet its customers' increasingly specific needs and keep delivery times down. Prima II also incorporates a number of advances, particularly in the field of mechanics. It has been fitted with the latest developments in the field of power electronics (IGBT inverters ¹), and is compatible with four different voltages (25 kV, 15 kV, 1,500 V and 3,000 V), thus ensuring cross-border services throughout Europe. At these voltages, and depending on the configuration chosen by the customer (freight or passenger transport), Prima II can attain power levels of between 4 and 6.4 MW, and reach speeds of 120 to 200 km/h.

In addition to its aesthetic appearance, the new Prima II design incorporates locomotive safety and maintenance requirements. The large glazed surfaces of the driver's cab offer unparalleled visibility, while the large side panels are made to accommodate operators' logos and branding. Special attention has been paid to comfort – soundproofing for the driver's cab, air-conditioning, a living area for two people, etc. As on the AGV, the control panel has been designed in compliance with European EU-DD recommendations² , the goal of which is to make it easier for drivers to learn and use control panels. The locomotive's buffers can absorb the energy produced by impacts of up to 65 km/h.

Prima II was designed and assembled at the Belfort Locomotive Centre of Excellence, and benefitted from the expertise of other Alstom Transport sites in both France (Le Creusot, Ornans, Tarbes and Villeurbanne) and Belgium (Charleroi).

Alstom is a long-standing player in the locomotive and railway freight market, and has sold more than 1,750 Prima locomotives since the line was launched and the first prototype presented in 1999. In 2000, Syria, Israel, Sri Lanka and Iran were Alstom's first customers for electric diesel Primas. The SNCF, France's traditional operator, is using more than 280 Primas from a total order of 305. In 2006, it ordered an additional 400 diesel locomotives from the Alstom-Siemens consortium. Veolia Cargo, a new private operator, signed a contract in October 2005 for 31 electric locomotives. Seven of these are already in use between Germany and France. More recently, Alstom delivered the first of 180 electric Prima units ordered by the Chinese Ministry of Transportation (MOR). These will be the most powerful locomotives in the world, able to pull up to 20,000 tonnes. An additional 500 six-axle locomotives are under development, and will be delivered in the coming months by DELC, Alstom's partner in China.

The first customer for the new Prima generation was the Moroccan National Railways (ONCF), who placed an order for 20 electric units in November 2007. Starting in 2010, they will be used throughout the country's rail network for hauling freight and transporting passengers.

About Alstom Transport
Alstom Transport is a long-standing player in the locomotive market. Its expertise and strength in the industrial field means that it is in a position to offer both operators and passengers a range of products perfectly suited to their requirements and demands. The new modular generation of Prima is a reliable and easy-to-maintain locomotive that can be used anywhere in the world, offering optimal cost of ownership for operators and maximum comfort for drivers. Over the last decade, Alstom has built more than 1,400 locomotives in its plants at Belfort in France.

Press contact
Laurent Gerbet - Tel. + 33 1 41 66 92 83

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¹ IGBT: Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor
² EU-DD: European Driver Desk