The next-generation locomotive, which was presented in its
electric version, is based on a modular platform of standardized,
tried and tested components that offer reliability, ease of
maintenance and upgradeability.
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.
Laurent Gerbet - Tel. + 33 1 41 66 92 83
¹ IGBT: Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor
² EU-DD: European Driver Desk