IHB signs Locomotive Fleet Replacement contract with GE Transportation Systems
Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Company (IHB) has signed a multi-year $18 million agreement with GE Transportation Systems to replace and upgrade their current fleet of locomotives producing substantial savings in operational expenses and greater allowance for future growth. The deal is structured in three phases to minimize the impact on day-to-day operations while upgrading to 2003 technology and remanufacturing their fleet in a timely manner. When the delivery is completed, IHB’s replacement fleet will be reduced from 57 units to 38 while performing the same amount of work more efficiently.
Phase 1 will include a 2 for 1 unit replacement plan with a remanufactured and upgraded EMD model GP40-2 locomotive. IHB will eliminate the majority of their older under-utilized fleet in favor of more productive road power locomotives in the 3000 horsepower range for 2003.
Phase 2 calls for the remanufacture and technical upgrade of IHB’s current fleet of EMD SW1500 locomotives in 2004 to be utilized in switching service assignments.
Phase 3 will finalize IHB’s strategy to replace all remaining locomotives with a remanufactured and overhauled EMD type GP38-2 locomotive primarily suited for local runs. This 2000 horsepower locomotive will feature upgraded systems with the latest technology to complete IHB’s Fleet Replacement Strategy.
“This expenditure decision, the largest made by IHB in over a 100 years of rail service, was made in difficult times but shows our commitment to safety, reducing our overall expenses, improving our operating ratios and meeting our performance commitments to all customers,” said Gary Gibson, General Manager, Indiana Belt Harbor. “We feel very comfortable choosing GE as our locomotive supplier due to their quality reputation and experience in meeting all of our objectives to date.”
The locomotives will be transported to the GE Transportation Systems facility San Luis Potosi, Mexico for service and upgrade. Delivery of the first units under Phase 1 is set for February 2003.
IHB expects substantial savings in both operating expense and maintenance. Other benefits include increased fuel savings, larger fuel tank capacity and greater hauling capabilities with microprocessor controls. Standardization and modernization of older fleets, coupled with huge inventory reductions, are giant steps in providing immediate savings to GE’s rail customers.
IHB (http://www.ihbrr.com/) is one of the largest switching and terminal railroads in the country and serves over 160 customers in the Chicago area. IHB also performs switching and intermediate service to all of the Class I carriers operating into Chicago.
GE Transportation Systems (http://www.getransportation.com/) is one of the word’s leading suppliers to the railroad, transit, and mining industries, providing freight and passenger locomotives, motorized drive systems for mining trucks and drills, railway signaling and communications systems, valued added services, and information technology solutions to its customers.
The IHB logo is a registered service mark of the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad Company. Its use without the express written permission of the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad is strictly prohibited.