The first new TG16M series two-section locomotive produced by Russian locomotive manufacturer Sinara Transport Machines commenced operations in December 2014. A total of 32 locos will be used by RZhD Russian Railways on the Pacific Island of Sakhalin. The inauguration ceremony took place at Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, Russia, station. For a period of six months, it currently undergoes a number of tests and certifications. The test runs will be used for examining speeds and train loads before the locomotive enters regular service.
Locomotive 001 is one of the first two vehicles for the Pacific Island. In October it already successfully passed the static and dynamic inspection in Lydinovo, Russia. Locomotive 002 performed its first test runs in the city of Kolomna at the VNIKTI Institute (Russian Institute of Research, Design and Technological Studies in Railway Rolling Stock). Meanwhile it has been moved to Sakhalin and already covered 5,000 km. This move is now followed by the series delivery of the components and the subsequent production of the other TG16M mainline locomotives. All locos will be fitted with two Voith component sets, consisting of L 530 breU2 turbo transmission, a cooling system as well as highly flexible couplings from the BR 152 and BR 199 range.
Voith has equipped its newly developed cooling system with ‘SilentVent’ high-performance fans as well as weight- and space-saving double block radiators. These parts allow maximum cooling output within the specified small installation space and thus ensure high power density. The highly flexible coupling in the driveline shifts the critical natural frequencies below the operating speed. This protects the systems components against critical vibrations and increases the service life and the availability of the driveline. At the core of the driveline is the adaptable L 530 breU2 turbo transmission. In combination with the Voith Turbo Drive Control system and a CAN-Bus interface, it convinces by high tractive efforts and optimum efficiency across the entire output range of 1,000 to 1,700 kW.
As soon as all dynamic tests have been successfully completed, the first locomotives will be in regular operation from July 2015, when they will mainly transport raw materials such as coal – initially on the route Yuzhnno-Sakhalinsk-Kholmsk. Due to the high gradient of up to 3%, the trains consist of no more than 20 wagons.
The acquisition of the new locomotives is part of a fleet modernization of its operator RZhD Russian Railways. Their output is about 40% higher compared to the currently used models, achieving a maximum speed of up to 100 km/h. Power increase, higher speed, micro-processor control and highly reliable running characteristics offer huge advantages over the previously used TG16M locomotives. Out of the 36 old locos built between 1970 and 1975, 20 are still in service today.
At its operation area, the Pacific Island of Sakhalin, the new locomotive will run on a narrow gauge with 1067 mm. It is, however, designed in a way that it can easily be adapted for running on Russian broad gauge routes with 1,520 mm.