SU160 / 111Db
Prototype 111Db exhibited at the InnoTrans in Berlin, September 24, 2014. Photo by Travelarz (www.commons.wikimedia.org).
Su160-001 during tests with PKP InterCity, photographed at the Rzeszów Główny station on June 27, 2015. Photo by Jiajjo (www.commons.wikimedia.org).
MTU 16V 4000 R84 diesel engine. Source: www.rrpowersystems.com.
Rzeszów again: SU160-003, PKP InterCity, February 13, 2016. Photo by Adam Kilian (www.commons.wikimedia.org).
One of the novelties displayed at the 2012 InnoTrans fair in Berlin was the prototype 111Ed electric locomotive from Bydgoszcz-based Pesa company. It was intended as the first member of an entire family of model universal locomotives, commercially named ‘Gama’, which was also to include a diesel-powered one. The latter materialized in July 2014 as factory type 111Db and was displayed at the next InnoTrans fair in September. At that time Pesa had already secured a firm order for ten production examples, placed by PKP InterCity. They were intended to supplement (and possibly later supersede) elderly SU46s; pending their appearance, PKP IC leased five class 754 diesels from Czech railways. First 111Db for this operator began tests in May 2015, commencing line service in June. Last, tenth example was delivered in November. These locomotives have been assigned a ‘hybrid’ service designation SU140, promptly changed to SU160, wherein ‘SU’ indicates universal diesel locomotive and ‘160’ is maximum speed (in fact maximum operational speed has been set at 140 km/h, but homologation procedures require an ability to run at speed higher by ten percent). Future orders may follow, but at the time of writing (March 2019) none has been announced. Prototype, designated 111Db-001, initially remained the manufacturer’s property and was used for various tests. In June 2015 it was sold to Pol-Miedź Trans and later, in May 2016, to Orlen KolTrans.
Teething troubles were initially reported as minor and concerning mainly auxiliary electric equipment and ABS system. First winter, however, revealed some problems with traction motors in low ambient temperatures, occasionally forcing locomotive withdrawal from use. In mid-2018 more serious failures of diesel engines were reported; according to Pesa, they resulted from manufacturing defects. In October 2018, of ten locomotives purchased by PKP InterCity, five were operational, three were withdrawn due to diesel engine failures and two were undergoing repairs following minor accidents.
In December 2014 prototype was tested by PKP Cargo, although these tests were contracted by Pesa in order to confirm suitability for freight traffic. Rumors on a possible order were promptly denied by this operator.
Main technical data
1) Until mid-2016.
References and acknowledgments
- SK, various issues;