‘Prototype’ SU42-1001 (rebuilt SM42-576), Olsztyn Główny station, July 1, 2015.
Next day, the same locomotive and location.
Between 1964 and 1992 Fablok delivered over 2000 examples of factory type 6D locomotives and their derivatives, both for PKP (classes SM42, SP42 and SU42) and industry. They served mainly as medium switchers, but were also used in with light freight trains; SP42 and SU42, fitted with car heating systems, were intended for passenger traffic on local lines. Since about mid-1990s several modernization packages have been proposed. Initially the principal aim was to replace the obsolete a8C22 diesel engine with a modern prime mover, more economical and compliant with current emission standards. Later modernization projects evolved into almost entirely new locomotives, retaining merely frames, trucks and traction motors of the original design, albeit with certain modifications. Type 6Dg, developed by Newag, was ordered in quantity by PKP Cargo and several private operators. All locomotives were conversions of old SM42s.
In 2009 PESA proposed type 6Dk, a radically modernized version with two Caterpillar C15 diesels. Newag responded with type 6Dl, which also featured two separate diesel-generator units, but facilitating electric power supply to passenger cars. This conversion was intended mainly for light passenger trains and provides a reasonable replacement for elderly SU45s, of which only a handful still remains in use. Type 6Dl is fitted with two Caterpillar C18 diesels, rated at 765 hp each; either one or both may be employed to develop tractive effort. Modern design features include air-conditioned cab, energy-absorbing bumpers and state-of-the-art emission control systems, compliant with current European standards (Stage IIIB). Crew comfort is enhanced by refrigerator, wash-basin, kitchenette and efficient heating system.
In September 2013 PKP InterCity ordered ten modernized locomotives, all rebuilt from old SM42s. They were delivered between August 2014 and May 2015 and are currently assigned to regional managements in Gdynia (seven) and Poznań (three). Due to their characteristics, they are considered universal locomotives and were classed SU42, with service numbers from 1001 to 1010. In April 2018 they were re-classed SU4210, probably to distinguish them from rebuilt SP42s. Further conversions may follow, but ‘new’ SU42 will have to face the competition of class SU160 (factory type 111Db) from PESA. In fact these two locomotives are complementary rather than competitive, as SU160 is a typical main line locomotive, while SU42 is intended for branch lines. Time will tell…
Main technical data
1) SM42 conversion.
2) Until late 2018.
References and acknowledgments
- www.kolejowaklatka.org (website by Marek Dąbrowski);