At 11:32 a.m. on June 25, the Shen-24, the world’s most powerful electric locomotive, started its maiden trip, marking that China’s railroad equipment is becoming more capable of heavy load, more intelligent, and more international.
On July 29, the Shen-24, the world’s most powerful electric locomotive co-developed by the Baoshen Railway Group under China Energy and CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co., Ltd., rolled off the production line. With a unit power of 28,800 kW, the locomotive generates forward propulsion of 2,280 kN, setting a world record for rail transportation in terms of traction and power. A major breakthrough of China’s equipment manufacturing, the Shen-24 locomotive filled the blank in the development of 20-axle and 24-axle high-power AC transmission electric locomotives around the globe.
After rolling off the production line, the Shen-24 electric locomotive underwent 33 locomotive-type tests including the vehicle-mounted network control system, static braking performance, and locomotive’s electromagnetic disturbance to external radio frequency. The test data is normal and the test results are all satisfactory, indicating that the locomotive meets the requirements of the established test system.
The locomotive was developed to solve multiple problems on the Shenmu-Shuozhou Railway. For example, the power of the locomotives on the railway’s long slope was insufficient, and the turnaround time of “3+0” 10,000 ton and “2+1” 10,000 ton heavy-haul trains was too long. In addition, the operational efficiency of locomotives is difficult to increase, the train operation is not smart enough, and the demand for locomotive crew is large. The Shen-24 will greatly facilitate intelligent transportation, improve transportation efficiency, and reduce the workload of drivers and ground crews.
The 106-meter-long locomotive has six carriages and 24 axles. With a maximum unit power of 28,800 kW and peak traction of 2,280 kN, it can operate as fast as 120 kilometers per hour and pull a 10,000-ton train on a 1.2 percent slope. It has the world’s highest single-unit power and traction, and is capable of flexible marshalling, flexible configuration of traction while reducing transportation costs and manpower.
Installed with smart driving technology, the locomotive can start, adjust speed, and stop automatically. A smart operation and maintenance platform and a faults prediction and management system enable the locomotive to recognize faults of key parts and monitor operation. The locomotive is also equipped with an innovative braking system based on various modules, distributed networks, and intelligent technologies, which enhances braking safety.
With completely independent intellectual property rights, the Shen-24 locomotive is a major breakthrough in single-unit traction of electric locomotives and in China’s heavy-hauling technologies. It has enriched and improved platforms for the development of heavy-hauling and high-power locomotives at home and abroad, and set a model for domestic high-end equipment’s transition from manufacturing to intelligent manufacturing.
The Shen-24 electric locomotive follows the development trend of the world’s heavy-haul locomotive technologies. It will open a new direction for the development of traction power modes of electric locomotives for the series of heavy-haul electric locomotives in China. In addition, it will effectively improve the transportation efficiency of China’s trunk railroads for energy transportation and meet the strategic needs of heavy-haul transportation, intelligent operation, and environmental protection.